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69 per cent of tanker drivers vote to strike

Drivers at five out of seven fuel distribution companies voted to strike, while drivers at two companies voted against it.

The results for the seven companies involved in the ballot are:
• Turners 94.4 percent in favour on a turnout of 81.8 percent.
• Norbert Dentressangle 74.8 percent in favour on a turnout of 71.3 percent.
• Wincanton 68.4 percent in favour on a turnout of 71.9 percent.
• BP 60.2 percent in favour on a turnout of 85.8 percent.
• Hoyer 59.7 percent in favour on a turnout of 79.7 percent.

DHL drivers narrowly voted against strike action but voted in favour of action short of a strike. Drivers at Suckling Transport voted against strike action and action short of strike.

Trade union Unite says that its 2,000 members make up 90 per cent of drivers delivering petrol in the UK.

The companies affected are: Wincanton, DHL, Hoyer, BP, JW Suckling, Norbert Dentressangle and Turners.

The firms deliver fuel for about 11 oil companies supplying forecourts across the UK. Strike action could hit the petrol pumps of household names such Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, BP, Esso and Shell, as well as airports.

The union says that employers have been slashing drivers’ terms and conditions and cutting corners on training and safety in a bid to win contracts.

The government has indicated that it would be prepared to bring in the army to deliver fuel of the strike goes ahead.
Unite national officer, Matt Draper, said: “The professionalism of tanker drivers is at stake. We should not accept a lowering of standards so that the oil companies can maximise their profits.

“Four of the top global oil companies posted combined profits of a staggering £106 billion in 2011. Yet, drivers are suffering a contract merry-go-round, with their working conditions under constant attack.”

Unite has also created a film, in which it says “minimum standards must be established across the board, and that competition should be based not on price, but on reliability, safety, and service delivery.”

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