UPDATE: Tanker drivers' union rules out Easter strike

Oxford Mail: A motorist fills up their car at a petrol station in Edinburgh, after the threat of strikes provoked increased buying A motorist fills up their car at a petrol station in Edinburgh, after the threat of strikes provoked increased buying

THE union representing fuel tanker drivers has ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter and said it wanted to focus on peace talks.

Unite, which represents around 2,000 tanker drivers, said it retained the right to call industrial action if talks, expected to start next week, break down.

The move followed more panic buying at garages across the country and an incident in which a woman was badly burned when petrol ignited as she transferred it between containers in her kitchen.

Meanwhile the Petrol Retailers Association said petrol sales increased by more than 170% on Thursday, while sales of diesel were up by almost 80%.

Unite and the seven distribution companies involved in the dispute are in contact with the conciliation service Acas, but no substantive talks will be held until next week.

The union said it had been trying for more than a year to establish minimum standards in the fuel oil distribution industry and halt a "race to the bottom". Officials called for minimum standards on health and safety procedures, training, pensions, rates of pay, hours and holidays, equal opportunities and disciplinary procedures.

Assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: "We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter, should those talks break down. It should be stressed that what we are seeking is reasonable and no more than what is in place elsewhere in the industry.... This is not a political dispute. It is an industrial dispute and the Government's recent rhetoric will not help us achieve a negotiated settlement."

The Petrol Retailers Association said it was waiting for "practical and well-considered" leadership from the Government during the growing fuel crisis, adding that "300 Army drivers cannot possibly replace 2,000 striking civilian drivers".

The Department for Transport has announced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU hours and working-time rules for drivers of fuel tankers, running until April 5.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused Prime Minister David Cameron of playing "schoolboy political games" in stoking up panic over fuel to try to distract attention from his troubles with Budget tax rises and the scandal over donations to the Tories. Mr Balls told BBC Radio Leeds: "It was a political invention, the panic of the last couple of days, and the nation and some people are paying a very, very heavy price for that. I think it's backfired because I think people have generally seen that these are schoolboy political games being played by people who should be doing responsible jobs."

Comments (7)

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12:41pm Fri 30 Mar 12

is-it-really-necessary says...

Finally some sensible reporting.
Finally some sensible reporting. is-it-really-necessary

1:45pm Fri 30 Mar 12

Major Oxford says...

Tesco cowly have petrol now!!
Tesco cowly have petrol now!! Major Oxford

2:41pm Fri 30 Mar 12

Myron Blatz says...

It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.
It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party. Myron Blatz

3:30pm Fri 30 Mar 12

John Lamb says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.
There's going to be a chicken and egg shortage?
We're all doooomed!!
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.[/p][/quote]There's going to be a chicken and egg shortage? We're all doooomed!! John Lamb

8:37pm Fri 30 Mar 12

DoctorBob says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.
Why have you missed out the chicken that fails to give minimum standards to the drivers in the first place?

Are you really blaming the amateurish ramblings of a government that doesn't even know the law on British workers standing up for minimum standards?

How did you manage to get to the conclusion that 'bully-boy tactics' have been in play here anywhere other than from the government?

Have you even followed this story or does it suit your built in bias to just make stuff up that happens to support your view?

Here's an idea, why don't you spend more time using the internet to actually do a little research instead of just posting made up opinionated rubbish? Just a thought.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.[/p][/quote]Why have you missed out the chicken that fails to give minimum standards to the drivers in the first place? Are you really blaming the amateurish ramblings of a government that doesn't even know the law on British workers standing up for minimum standards? How did you manage to get to the conclusion that 'bully-boy tactics' have been in play here anywhere other than from the government? Have you even followed this story or does it suit your built in bias to just make stuff up that happens to support your view? Here's an idea, why don't you spend more time using the internet to actually do a little research instead of just posting made up opinionated rubbish? Just a thought. DoctorBob

12:26am Sat 31 Mar 12

Darkforbid says...

But apparently petrols still cheap enough, to be used burning a homeless girls tent...

https://m.google.com
/app/plus/x/187szh8s
7won6/?v=stream&part
nerid=operamini1104&
force=1&aid=z13ahb3r
npvvhnd1q22swn4opvee
s1bnc&surl=%3Fpartne
rid%3Doperamini1104%
26v%3Dstream%26force
%3D1&sspath=%2Fapp%2
Fplus%2Fx
But apparently petrols still cheap enough, to be used burning a homeless girls tent... https://m.google.com /app/plus/x/187szh8s 7won6/?v=stream&part nerid=operamini1104& force=1&aid=z13ahb3r npvvhnd1q22swn4opvee s1bnc&surl=%3Fpartne rid%3Doperamini1104% 26v%3Dstream%26force %3D1&sspath=%2Fapp%2 Fplus%2Fx Darkforbid

2:31am Sat 31 Mar 12

L0RD PETER McVEY OX2 6EG says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.
Myron think before posting. Due to the Tories Anti-Worker laws, any strike would have a weeks notice before starting. That would be plenty of time for Davey Boy to start panicking people into draining the pumps dry. But seeing as now is a good time to hide bad news the Government decided to create a new major headline and turn people against the Unions at the same time. Well it looks like it backfired on them. Childish politics may fool the privileged party faithful, but we have not forgotten the budget, and a £quarter mill for dinner with Dave just yet.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: It's all 'chicken and egg' because had the trade union not threatened to call strike action in the first place, the Government wouldn't have issued a warning to motorists about how such action might/would affect them. If anyone was ramping-up the politics and scare-mongering, it would seem to have been Union 'bully-boy' tactics, reminiscent of the 'bad old days' when trade unions tried to use their 'muscle' to get their demands met - this, at a time when it can no longer 'pull the strings' on Government through the Labour Party.[/p][/quote]Myron think before posting. Due to the Tories Anti-Worker laws, any strike would have a weeks notice before starting. That would be plenty of time for Davey Boy to start panicking people into draining the pumps dry. But seeing as now is a good time to hide bad news the Government decided to create a new major headline and turn people against the Unions at the same time. Well it looks like it backfired on them. Childish politics may fool the privileged party faithful, but we have not forgotten the budget, and a £quarter mill for dinner with Dave just yet. L0RD PETER McVEY OX2 6EG

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