Drivers at the Quinn Glass factory near Chester fear for their jobs following a decision to outsource the haulage operation.

Some of the nine affected drivers at the Elton-based plant have contacted The Pioneer worried about their future.

And the Unite union believes the outsourcing decision is linked to a successful campaign which resulted in 97.5% of the workforce recently voting in favour of Unite being recognised by the employer in collective bargaining.

However, Quinn said in a statement it followed a review by parent company Aventas of the entire fleet and associated facilities across the whole group.

Unite regional officer Graham Daley told Quinn by email that a leaked confidential report to the board revealed the outsourcing was the result of the union recognition claims.

He said: “Throughout the report the main reason given for the review is the desire to avoid having to deal with the union. This discrimination of dedicated, loyal and hard working employees is totally unacceptable!”

And Mr Daley told the employer that “if no meeting is arranged we will begin a ballot for industrial action”.

Drivers have rung The Pioneer anonymously saying “nine drivers are worried about their jobs again.”

Last year three Quinn lorry drivers were found to have been unfairly dismissed because of their membership of a trade union and for supporting its efforts to gain recognition.

Adrian Curry, managing director of Quinn Glass, said in a statement to The Pioneer : “We are continually looking at our business processes to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible and offering the best possible service to customers. Last year our parent company, Aventas Group, began a review of fleet and associated facilities across all group companies in Britain and Ireland, and after months of careful consideration and planning, decided to explore the benefits of outsourcing this element of the business to CEVA Logistics.

“We began a period of consultation with affected employees within Quinn Glass on the proposed changes in February, which is still ongoing. At every stage we have liaised with representatives from union group, Unite, and will continue to do so.”