Truck Drivers' Fury at Blockade Payouts

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVEN MORRIS

PALTRY payments by the French to British truck firms hit by last year's chaotic lorry drivers' blockade provoked anger and bewilderment yesterday.

The first two firms - one from Leicestershire and the other from South Wales - told they were getting compensation found they would receive little more than [pounds sterling]1,000 between them.

That was a fraction of what they hoped for and a drop in the ocean compared to the [pounds sterling]1.5million total being claimed.

Firms have been angered by not being able to put in one claim to Paris.

Instead they are having to claim from local goverment officials in the areas where their lorries were halted.

Many firms which had a number of lorries trapped during the 12-day pay and conditions' strike in November are having to make a string of claims.

Others with drivers who managed to break through one blockade only to be stopped again later are having to claim more than once for the same truck.

In addition there have been disputes over which language claims should be in and arguments when the French asked some companies for more 'substantiation' documents - even after tachograph evidence, ferry invoices and consignment notes had been provided. …