Unite members at Wincanton announce a further week of action as employer refuses to talk


Tanker drivers at Wincanton have announced plans for a further week of strike action.

The current seven-day action started on Tuesday and has seen Jet fuel trucks standing idly by as the strike hit three of the UK’s major oil terminals and deliveries to Jet’s 381 petrol forecourts.  The dispute is over Wincanton’s attack on the drivers’ pensions and terms and conditions.

Unite has given Wincanton notice of a further seven days of strike action, beginning on February 2nd, unless the employer gets back round the table.

On Wednesday Texas oil giant ConocoPhillips, which runs the Wincanton contract, reported a colossal 70 per cent surge in fourth quarter profits to reach $3.4 billion. The union says that ConocoPhillips could well afford to pay Wincanton a fair rate for the job, saying that it holds the key to settling the dispute.

Unite national officer Matt Draper (below, left) said: “Despite the union’s repeated attempts in the last few days to resolve the dispute, the employer, Wincanton, has so far failed to honour its promise to return with a form of words that we can move forward on. We have no other option but to extend this strike for another seven days in a further attempt to get the employer to see sense.

“The company is dragging its feet and it is fairly clear that ConocoPhillips is calling the shots. It is absolutely mindboggling that a company as profitable as ConocoPhillips could turn its back on the drivers who deliver its fuel safely and on time.

“ConocoPhillips could easily afford to pay the drivers’ employer, Wincanton, a fair rate for the contract, instead it would rather shrug off the duty it has to these drivers.

“The strike is solid and will re-start on Thursday, 2 February and end on Thursday, 9 February, unless a resolution can be reached. It won’t be long before the action hits fuel supplies at Jet forecourts.”

Watch our film report from the picket line:

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