Fuel tanker drivers, employed by Hoyer Petrolog UK, and members of the Unite union, are balloting for industrial action in a dispute over job cuts and attacks on conditions.
The workers, based at the Stanlow oil refinery and the fuel storage facility in Bramhall in Cheshire, began balloting for industrial action last Friday (2 October) and the ballot will close this Friday (9 October). If the drivers vote in favour of industrial action strikes could begin later this month, creating serious disruption to fuel deliveries.
The company delivers to many petrol stations and supermarkets and also delivers aviation fuel to airports.
Hoyer is proposing to make 6 of the 20 plus workers redundant. Initially they proposed six alternative roles, but those positions included inferior terms and conditions, notably a compulsory lay-off clause, which would allow the company to lay workers off without pay and without warning.
The lay-off clauses were opposed by Unite and this resulted in Hoyer withdrawing the jobs and pushing ahead with the redundancies.
Unite has entered into detailed and lengthy negotiations with the company in order to seek to avoid job losses and has proposed costed alternatives. However these have been rejected by Hoyer and talks have broken down.“Hoyer is drinking in the last chance saloon, if it is serious about avoiding highly disruptive industrial action.
“Unite has proposed detailed alternatives to avoid job losses but these have been rejected by Hoyer’s local management,” Unite regional officer Steve Gerarrd said.
“If industrial action is taken it will be absolutely as a last resort, but it has to be understood this will have a huge impact on fuel deliveries across a large chunk of England.
“It is imperative that Hoyer returns to the negotiating table and enters into meaningful negotiations to save jobs and avoid the need for industrial action and the inevitable disruption this will cause,” he added.
By Barckley Sumner