Over 60% of oil tanker drivers working for seven major firms have voted to take strike action in a national ballot organised by Unite.
Drivers at Turners (94% in favour on a turnout of 82%), Norbert Dentressangle (75%, 71%), Wincanton (68%, 72%), BP (60%, 86%), and Hoyer (60%, 80%) will all strike. DHL drivers voted to take action short of a strike, and drivers at Suckling voted against any industrial action.
The ballot is part of an ongoing campaign by Unite on myriad issues within the oil haulage industry, including health and safety, casualisation and pensions. The campaign’s key demand is for an industry-wide collective bargaining forum to ensure that all companies and contracts are held to union-negotiated minimum standards.
Unite has yet to name dates for strike action but any strike will significantly affect petrol supply to the majority of UK forecourts. The British state is already gearing up to break the strike and has put the army on standby to carry out emergency fuel deliveries.
Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said:
“This is not about pay — this is about ensuring that high safety and training standards are maintained, so that our communities are safe. It is about a simple measure, the creation of an industry-wide bargaining forum. It is about bringing fairness and stability back to an essential national industry.
“No longer can it be acceptable that oil giants rake in profits, while shirking their responsibility for the stable supply of a national commodity. The measures we are proposing are reasonable, responsible and sensible. We urge them to act and listen.”
Strikes are likely to begin in early April.