Petrol pump service engineers to strike
Petrol stations face pump problems as Gilbarco engineers down tools over pay
Problems at petrol pumps throughout the UK will be left unattended as service engineers employed by Gilbarco Veeder-Root Ltd take strike action tomorrow (July 7) in a dispute over pay.
The service engineers who, are home based and required to travel extensively for their work, have rejected a pay increase of just four per cent. This is in effect a substantial pay cut as the real rate of inflation (RPI) currently stands at 11.7 per cent.
According to its last accounts, the Jersey-registered company has a multi-million pound turnover and recorded a gross profit of £4 million.
The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union will take two days of strike action beginning at 06:00 on Thursday 7 July and ending at 18:00 on Friday 8 July.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Where a business like Gilbarco Veeder Root can afford to pay fairly, Unite will act to ensure that they do. This pay cut disguised as a pay increase is therefore rejected by Unite.
“Our members play a critical role in keeping the UK’s petrol distribution system operating. They should be paid fairly for the job they do. Unite will be giving our members its total support until this dispute is resolved to their satisfaction.”
The service engineers are called-out to petrol stations when problems are identified at a pump. This can be a simple issue such as replacing a light, or it can be attending after a petrol pump has been demolished in a collision and required to work with the fire brigade and the police to make the site safe. During the strike the pumps will remain out of action.
The strike action will affect call outs to a raft of petrol stations including those operated by Tesco, Asda, Costco, Osprey, EV, BP, Esso Euro-garages and many independent retailers.
Unite regional officer Nadine Edwards added, “This dispute will cause considerable disruption to petrol forecourts across the UK, however this dispute is entirely of Gilbarco’s making. It has had every opportunity to make its engineers a fair pay offer but has refused to do so.
“To avoid further strikes and increased disruption Gilbarco needs to return to the negotiating table and make our members a decent pay offer.”
By Barckley Sumner