Socialist Worker

‘Tremendous’ tanker drivers' strike

by Phil Turner
Issue No. 2288

Striking tanker drivers are in a buoyant mood as they prepare for more strikes on Thursday of this week after talks with management broke down.

This follows a seven-day strike at three major terminals involving more than 120 workers.

They are fighting against attacks on their terms and conditions.

The drivers, members of the Unite union, are employed by distribution and logistics firm Wincanton on a contract for oil giant ConocoPhillips.

Workers were set to strike two days this week before walking out again for another seven days from Thursday.

Their strike hit fuel supplies to Jet forecourts across Britain, especially in Scotland, the Midlands and the north of England.

Terminals

The Wincanton drivers work out of oil terminals at Kingsbury in Warwickshire, Immingham in Lincolnshire and Stockton-on-Tees.

One worker at Kingbury said, “Out in the wind, sleet and hail the picket is manned 24 hours a day.

“There seems no doubt that this will continue until the situation is resolved.

“Support from other tanker drivers is strong.

“They know that the groundwork the ConocoPhillips drivers have put in will benefit them as the fuel delivery contracts come up for review.

“The strength of feeling is plain to see.

“These drivers are standing up for themselves and for all of us—and for that we should be extremely grateful.”

On the picket line at Immingham, senior steward Nick Dennis said management wanted to “annihilate” drivers’ terms and conditions.

Fight

He said, “This is a fight for our job security. ConocoPhillips’ first quarter profits were £3.4 billion, so there’s no reason why they can’t resolve it.

“But those at the top are using the recession to tread down working people.

“We have grave concerns about health and safety with some hauliers that Wincanton and ConocoPhillips used for forecourt deliveries on strike days.

“They may be qualified, but not experienced.”

He added, “The mood is tremendous. They’ll be doing a conga on the picket line next!”

“We’re getting tremendous support from other trade unionists in the industry.

“They’re bringing down food and collections.

“Our determination is paramount in this dispute.”


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

News
Sat 4 Feb 2012, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2288
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.