Northern England braced for fuel disruption as strikes announced in tanker dispute

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Fuel tanker drivers employed by Hoyer Petrolog UK who are based at the Stanlow oil refinery in Cheshire, have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in a dispute over job cuts.

The workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded an overwhelming 96.2 per cent vote in favour of industrial action.

After the yes vote was secured, Unite gave Hoyer a final opportunity to withdraw its redundancy proposals but when it refused to do so the union had no option but to announce strike dates.

Unite has announced a total of 14 days of strike action on the following days next month (November): 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 20, 23, 25, 27. All of the strikes will begin at 00:01 hrs and end at 23.59 hrs.

The strikes will cause considerable disruption to fuel supplies for road users and the aviation sector in northern England.

Customers of Hoyer, that are set to be affected include: Shell, Esso, BP, Essar, World Fuel Services (WFS), Motor Fuel Group (MFG), Rontec, Euro Garages, Greenenergy and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Hoyer is proposing to make six of the 28 drivers employed on the contract redundant, despite the workers having worked throughout the pandemic. The company is increasingly using agency drivers to fulfil its delivery requirements.

Unite regional officer Steve Gerrard said: “Unite’s members have delivered a stunning mandate in favour of industrial action.
 
“Despite Unite giving Hoyer every opportunity to resolve this dispute through negotiations, it has refused to do so and as a consequence and as a last resort Unite has announced strike dates.
 
“Our members regret that their action will cause considerable disruption to fuel deliveries but believe they have no other option in order to save their jobs.
 
“Fuel tanker drivers are frontline workers and throughout this pandemic their work has ensured that other frontline workers can continue to go to work. They deserve to be treated better than this.
 
“The ball is now firmly in Hoyer’s court. It can still avoid strike action occurring by withdrawing the threat of job cuts.”