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Jet tanker drivers continue strike action
123 oil tanker drivers employed by road haulage firm Wincanton began a week-long strike on Tuesday 24 January. Employed on the ConocoPhillips contract, they deliver fuel to Jet petrol stations. After a 83% vote for action, these Unite members are striking for job security - they want ConocoPhillips to guarantee they will abide by TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employees) if they end or fragment the Wincanton contract.
In effect, the tanker drivers are being subcontracted to ConocoPhillips who want to cut costs by putting the Jet contact out to the lowest bidder. This would see the Wincanton drivers either lose their jobs or see their terms and conditions cut if they aren't protected by TUPE.
Three major fuel distribution depots are affected, in Kingsbury, Stockton-on-Tees and the biggest on Immingham docks, where nearly all the 86 drivers and fitters manned picket lines in and out of the refinery depot.
The strike is solid at all three depots with support flooding in from other Unite drivers' branches. The union has served notice of a further week long strike starting on Thursday 2 February. The only disappointment for the drivers is that due to the anti-union laws, they will have to go back to work for two days before continuing the strike.
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