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Posted on 9 February 2012 at 14:53 GMT

Jet tanker drivers force employers to negotiate

Following eight days of strike action with another week-long strike called, Jet tanker drivers at Immingham, Stockton and Kingsbury have forced their employer, haulage firm Wincanton, and its client, ConocoPhillips, to commit to talks about securing a long-term future for the workforce.

Nick Dennis, chair of the Unite national negotiating committee for 3,000 unionised tanker drivers, said: "Our strike has been 100% solid with other tanker drivers not crossing our picket lines.

"We've shown the bosses that we are going to fight their cost-down agenda. If we have to come out on strike again, we won't be on our own, it'll be industry-wide, and that really will hit the forecourts with fuel shortages within days".

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Last week, Shell reported it has made billions in profits. Other companies like Conoco have seen their profits jump by 70%. But while drivers are being squeezed at the pumps, tanker drivers are having their pay cut and their jobs made far more difficult. Enough is enough".

Unite has been campaigning for the introduction of industry minimum standards, including pensions and health and safety standards, and a commitment from the employers, especially the major oil companies, for fuel oil distribution sector-wide collective bargaining. If that is not forthcoming then more industrial action is likely.

Alistair Tice

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