New talks bring hope of averting strike by tanker drivers

Talks are currently taking place that are hoped will prevent fuel tanker drivers from going on strike later this month. The talks have been aimed at resolving disputes that the drivers’ union has been having with the various distribution companies that it represents. In the past few days several briefing talks have taken place, but this is the first time consolation talks have happened.

The dispute that the drivers are raising is over the conditions and terms with which they are employed, with a focus on health and safety. The dispute is something that has been expected for a long time now, but it is not until now that the union, Unite, have decided to take action.

The government urged people to top up their fuel tanks which led to chaos at many petrol stations across the country as people queued for hours for petrol. Unite did announce that they will not be doing this strike over the Easter weekend and that they will be giving the required seven days notice before they do strike.

The general secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey has stated, “We have been working with the industry to get best practice initiatives put in place for a very long time now which would focus on having minimum safety standards, minimum wages and sensible pensions.”

One of the distribution companies involved in the dispute is Hoyer and they have said, “We believe driver safety is absolutely essential to our business and we think that an agreement will be able to be reached with the union in the near future to avoid any strike action.”

Many fuel retailers have been quite shaken up by the fact that the government urged people to panic buy petrol, the situation has shaken their confidence in the government’s ability to handle a potential fuel shortage.