Unite industrial action doubled to a fortnight after employer refuses to address long term issues

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Jet fuel tanker drivers working for Wincanton have doubled their strike action until February 16th in an escalation of the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Yesterday’s planned seven-day strike was called off for talks, then reinstated after the company refused to make a “long term” guarantee that the drivers’ incomes would be protected – “two little words” that led to a further two-week strike.

The additional seven days of action until 04.59 February 16th will put intense pressure on petrol supplies to Jet’s 381 forecourts and will mean tanker drivers will have been on strike for unprecedented 21 days.

Tanker drivers walked out at 5am this morning after the break down of talks, mounting picket lines at depots in Immingham, Kingsbury and Stockton-on-Tees in the dispute which has already seen seven days of strike action.

Unite has repeatedly said that Jet’s owner ConocoPhillips and, road hauliers, Wincanton have generated more than enough profits to pay decent pay and conditions and warned that their greed would destabilise the supply of vital national resource.

Unite national officer Matt Draper, said: “Tanker drivers are once again showing their determination to defend their pay and conditions. We had hoped we could resolve the dispute through the talks and offered concessions. But Wincanton’s failure to offer these highly skilled drivers security over their futures and their pay and conditions means that the supply of fuel to Jet forecourts is once again under threat.

“Wincanton need to recognise the strength of feeling and start talking seriously about a fair solution.”


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