LORRY drivers supplying Swindon’s Homebase delivery depot fear they could be out of a job within days after their Eddie Stobart employers allegedly pulled out of a contract months before it was due to end.

The 35 workers who deliver goods to the garden centre chain at Lydiard Fields claim there is a stalemate between the two companies as the logistics firm is alleged to have decided to terminate a three year contract while only halfway through it and once it leaves, the jobs would be lost and Homebase would have to rely on sub-contractors.

One depot delivery driver, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Adver: “Everyone is going home at the end of each day worrying and panicking, the atmosphere ate the depot is terrible. Some of the drivers have worked at this depot for 15 years, others 20, it’s so wrong that we are being treated this badly, it’s disgusting.

“No-one is challenging this issue apart from our union, we’re completely in the dark and there does not seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.”

Meetings are being held between the United Road Transport Union and the companies involved in a bid to resolve the situation amicably and avoid any job losses. A final decision has not yet been made. The drivers’ last contracted day is June 22, although they say that if the worst happens, they would have to come in on June 23 just to be officially told that the contract is over and they are now unemployed.

Our source hopes that the roles at risk will be transferred rather than removed. He explained the series of events that led to this difficult situation.

He added: “Two weeks ago, we were told by the union that Eddie Stobart had given a month’s notice to Hilco, which owns Homebase, because the lorry firm is losing too much money and they want to pull out early.

“Homebase said that this was a breach of their agreed contract but our roles may not be transferred.

“There’s a stalemate, the drivers are being used as pawns and if both companies keep being stubborn and walk away, us workers will be the ones who suffer. People’s lives are at stake, I feel like crying, I’ve got three children, we all have families to feed and bills to pay.

“We all want to keep our jobs but if the worst does happen, we would like a bit of money to tide us over until we get back on our feet.

“However, each company is saying it’s the other’s responsibility to give us redundancy pay if we lose our jobs and neither side is budging so we’ll end up with nothing.”

Homebase declined to comment. The Adver approached Eddie Stobart for comment but did not receive a response before deadline.