More than 40 tanker drivers who deliver fuel to Jet Garages have voted to take strike action over pay this month, raising the spectre of petrol pump queues.
The strike action is being taken by tanker drivers employed by J W Suckling and Hoyer Gas and Petroleum Logistics and will affect Jet Garages across Scotland, in an area from Southampton to Norwich and also from North Staffordshire to Carlisle.
The drivers, who are members of Unite, are based at depots in Essex, Grangemouth, Stockport and West London and work on the Phillips 66 contract that supplies fuel to Jet Garages.
Unite said the dispute centres on pay rates and conditions. The union claims the drivers are being paid £5 an hour less than drivers employed by other hauliers on the same contract and suffer poorer terms and conditions.
JW Suckling drivers at the company’s Essex and West London sites and Hoyer tanker drivers in the North West will begin their strike from 4am on Monday 27 March initially for a week.
Drivers employed by JW Suckling at Grangemouth will be taking all out continuous strike action from 04:00 on Monday 27 March.
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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members are simply seeking a fair day’s pay. There is no reason on earth why some hauliers can afford to pay a fair higher rate than others. This is all about the companies involved boosting their profits at the expense of workers.
“Unite has a laser like focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workers at JW Suckling and Hoyer will receive the Unite’s complete support.”
Unite regional officer Nick West, who represents the Essex and West London drivers, added: “The forthcoming strike action will inevitably cause huge disruption to Jet Garages but this dispute is the fault of JW Suckling, Hoyer and Phillips, all of which could have resolved this dispute but chose not to.”
Unite regional officer Lyn Turner, who represents the workers at Grangemouth, said: “The strike action is set to result in Jet Garages across Scotland running out of fuel. Our members are simply not prepared to accept less money than fellow drivers for the same work any longer.”
A spokesman for J W Suckling said: “We are not commenting on the situation apart from to say that we do remain open to continued dialogue.”
A request for comment from Hoyer has yet to receive a response.