Socialist Worker

Tanker drivers' action wins at Grangemouth

Issue No. 2343

Striking tanker drivers at Grangemouth oil refinery near Glasgow have beaten back bosses’ attempt to loot their wages and pensions.

Drivers transporting aviation fuel are to have their contract transferred from BP to DHL. And in the process they were set to lose £1,400 a year in pay and as much as £100,000 from their pensions.

But more than 40 drivers on different BP contracts struck for three days last month. They are members of the Unite union.

Their action was supported by other Unite members inside the refinery, who refused to load fuel into scab tankers.

This meant that hundreds of tankers of fuel failed to reach airports and petrol pumps across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.

And before the workers could walk out again for four days last week, bosses crumbled. They agreed a new deal to compensate for all the lost wages and pensions.

Outsourcing and subcontracting is often used to attack the conditions of transport and distribution workers.

It remains to be seen to what extent the new deal will protect workers’ interests from future attacks by their new bosses.

But the workers have shown their power to defy the bosses and win. It’s a lesson to the whole of the working class—strikes can win.

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