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Fuel tanker drivers vote to strike as petrol prices hit record high

Should the strikes take place over Easter weekend it could cause chaos for millions of people hoping to get away over the Bank Holidays. 

 
Fuel tanker drivers vote to strike as petrol prices hit record high

Fuel tanker drivers today voted in favour of strike action over safety concerns.

A date for the strike action is yet to be confirmed but there are concerns the strikes may take place over Easter weekend next month, which could cause chaos for millions of workers hoping to get away during the bank holidays. 

Drivers working for five major fuel distribution firms Turners, Norbert Dentressangle, Wincanton, BP and Hoyer – which deliver fuel to household names such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, BP, Shell and Esso – voted 69% in favour of a walkout, according to Unite Union.

Drivers at two other firms – DHL and Suckling – meanwhile, voted against striking, but in favour of some form of industrial action.

Overall, this means some 61% of all drivers supported strike action.

Unite claims drivers’ working conditions have come under ‘constant attack’, despite four of the top global oil companies posting combined profits of £106 billion last year.

'This is not about pay – this is about ensuring high safety and training standards are maintained,’ said Diana Holland, assistant general secretary of Unite, which is calling on the industry to establish minimum standards.

The government is meeting with fuel delivery companies and supermarkets to come up with a contingency plan should the strikes go ahead, including the training of army officers to deliver fuel to petrol stations.

The news comes just days after UK petrol prices hit yet another record high.

Last Friday analysts at Experian Catalist revealed that the average price of unleaded petrol had broken through the 140p a litre for the first time.

When the 3p fuel duty increase – which was confirmed by the chancellor in last week’s Budget – comes into effect in July it’s thought the price of petrol could reach 150p a litre.

3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

snoekie

Mar 26, 2012 at 19:18

Unite, a dinosaur union, intent on stopping any efficiency and wanting to blackmail firms into paying more, when their members are already well paid, and getting way over the odds for the work they do.

Is it not time that in these circumstances members of the public and businesses have the right to sue the union and their members for damages for the inconvenience and losses suffered. They are, after all, very deliberately and with malice aforethought interfering with the peoples ability to move around and for businesses to deliver on their contracts.

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Michael Stevens

Mar 26, 2012 at 20:34

75% of motorists are not worried by fuel price. WHY? They do not drive ecconomically. High speed, acceleration, braking, etc. and large cars, 4x4s.

Just drive economically and save 15 to 20%

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Jem Cooper

Mar 27, 2012 at 09:59

This smells political to me. Why go for all employers at once if the aim is to improve conditions?

I quote from the BBC website.

"One of the companies involved, Hoyer, said its safety standards were very high.

A Hoyer spokesman said: "Hoyer has one of the highest health, safety and training standards in the petroleum distribution sector."

The firm said that pay and conditions for Hoyer drivers were among "the best in the industry", adding that the company's drivers earned on average £45,000 a year.

Hoyer said Unite had walked away from discussions designed to settle the dispute."

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