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Oil industry drivers threaten to strike

By: Laura Nineham
14 January 2011

Britain is facing a potential petrol shortage, after the country's largest union threatened to call 3,000 fuel tank drivers to strike over a long-running dispute concerning working conditions and pensions.

According to The Telegraph, it's thought that a mass walkout by people with driving jobs working for oil companies will be scheduled for late February or early March.

Unite - the union behind the British Airways strike - has threatened to encourage 80 per cent of tanker drivers to stop working.

"Tanker drivers play a crucial role in the economy, delivering fuel safely and on time, but their industry, which is worth billions, is content to attack the drivers' pay, pensions and conditions," said Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite.

He added: "The price of oil is heading for $100 a barrel. This is not an industry suffering like many others: the profits are astronomical. Employers have their heads in the sand if they think they can continue to attack these drivers' terms and conditions."

Sky News reports that Unite has claimed the repeated transfer of drivers' contracts between companies have eroded their pay and conditions over the past decade. "The attacks on workers' pensions must cease and the merry-go-round where drivers can have as many as 12 different employers must stop too," added Mr McCluskey. "Quite simply enough is enough."

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