Opinion Former Article

RHA: “Don’t turn fuel into a national emergency"

‘Fuel Strike – this affects everyone” is the message from the Road Haulage Association as the spectre of a fuel strike looms.

Whilst no date has been set and seven days’ notice must be given by Unite, the threat of strike action by some tanker drivers is reported to be causing panic in parts of the UK.

RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning said today “Many drivers of fuel tankers are not members of Unite, so those who have voted for strike action are in a minority. Furthermore, these drivers are all paid much more that the average for truck drivers generally, typically receiving over £40,000 per year. We are also concerned at the union’s implication that safety standards are low. The UK fuel distribution sector applies standards that are far above the legal minimum, with highly professional, well trained and properly rewarded drivers delivering the UK’s fuel”

The threat of possible strike action is apparently causing disruption in some parts of the country because of unnecessary panic buying. This is just a taste of what a real strike would do. Many hauliers have little or no ability to store fuel beyond what they normally use on a day-to-day basis, so any shortage of supply would have an immediate impact on their businesses. Incalculable damage would be inflicted on an economy that is trying to recover from recession, with supply chains disrupted, people unable to go about their normal legitimate daily business and companies placed under great financial strain. This could easily push many firms over the edge into failure, threatening the jobs of many Unite members who are much less well paid than their fuel tanker driver members.

Geoff Dunning added “The safe delivery of fuel is of paramount importance: any concerns can and should be examined carefully, and adequate procedures for addressing such concerns already exist. But the reliability of fuel supply is equally significant and should not be jeopardised.”

Road Haulage Association – phone us first

For more details, contact RHA Head of Media Relations, Kate Gibbs on . . .
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 838917
Mob: + 44 (0) 7979 531451
 

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