Petrol Tankers Strike?

  morddwyd 08:53 01 Aug 10
Locked

Tanker drivers "may" strike later in the year (of course, they may not).

click here

Quick everybody, down the petrol station and stock up to the last half litre!

How long before we see panic stricken queues at pumps again?

  sunnystaines 09:33 01 Aug 10

I always thought they were well paid, if that is the case they have a cheek threatening to strike when a lot of people are not getting a payrise due to cutbacks in the recession

  Kevscar1 09:46 01 Aug 10

Makes you wonder if unite just wants to wreck everything for everybody including there own members.

  sunnystaines 10:30 01 Aug 10

I wonder if unite is their union

  Kevscar1 10:42 01 Aug 10

sunnystaines
says so in the article, that why I raised the possilibty.

  sunnystaines 11:39 01 Aug 10

thanks I missed that point. unite has labour in its pocket so might be political.

I would susp most of their members are decent people and if they get too political a lot of its members will choose another union, though saying than cannot understand why BA staff have not walked to another union.

  WhiteTruckMan 14:23 01 Aug 10

on and off for about 10 years. I no longer do so because my hazardous goods permit (ADR) certificate has expired and because I am not currently driving them I cannot justify thge expense out of my own pocket of renewing it.

fourm member is right, but only up to a point - tank work IS very easy indeed. But there's a rider. Its very, very easy to do a lot of expensive damage and injure/kill a *lot* of people if you make a mistake or just plain don't know what you are doing.

The large company fuel delivery drivers have generally been doing their jobs for a long time. They know their jobs, equipment, customers and procedures very well indeed. But because many of them have been working for the same employer possibly for decades they have become somewhat insulated from conditions in both general haulage and the wider economy. It's an area where you can pretty much have a job for life, unless you do something remarkably stupid, and such jobs were/are still difficult to get into, with more than an element of 'dead mans shoes' in the recruitment process. (please note, I'm not talking about smaller, local independant fuel suppliers)

I think talk of industrial action is rash indeed. However, when one considers they are being led by a union not noted for its reasonableness, it should not be entirely discounted. I feel that my own union (urtu) would not be anywhere near as militant under the same circumstances. A union spokeman claimed that more and more was being squeezed out of the drivers. Well a combination of the domestic drivers hours regulations plus the european directive on mobile workers hours have cut back on drivers working hours unless they were silly enough to sign a collective opt out clause. So I would be curious to know specifically what the drivers are objecting to. It cant be that they are being asked to work any illegal hours or this would be a ministry enforcement problem.

I'm stopping short of blanket condemning them though, without knowing full details. But I do think they should pause, take a step back and look at the bigger picture (including employment prospects, pay and conditions in the wider world) before taking this action any further.

And that included BA cabin staff.

WTM

  Forum Editor 15:40 01 Aug 10

An excellent post, one that filled in some blanks for me,and no doubt for others.

I can't escape the feeling that some union leaders are simply not up to it when it comes to assessing the state of the economy, and their reaction to events.

A quotation from the article in the link you posted illustrates the mental attitude perfectly:

"Union officials have said that unless job losses, pay cuts and "constant reorganisation" by supermarket chains and oil companies were halted, tanker drivers would be "forced" to take industrial action."

Do these people have no understanding of what goes on in the real world - are they so stupid that they can't recognise the writing that's on the wall in giant letters? The morale of the tanker drivers may well be low, but they are far from being alone in that respect. I suggest that the leaders of Unite take a few moments to consider that we're all in this together, and sadly that includes tanker drivers. If they decide to call an official strike they might well find that public opinion turns against their members in a very big way.

  WhiteTruckMan 20:26 01 Aug 10

that I haven't inadvertantly given the impression that being a tanker driver is so easy that anyone could walk in off the streets, be given a quick ten minutes induction talk, then off you go. The reality is far, far different. To do the job properly and safely takes years of experience and many thousands of pounds of expensive training, first to drive a truck, then an articulated one, then after taking the hazardous goods training you have to learn to drive yet again, because believe me when I say that out on the road one of these vehicles is like nothing you have ever experienced before. Think of a double decker bus with an empty bottom deck, and a top deck fully loaded with over weight sumo wrestlers having a game of british buldog while you navigate the roundabouts of milton keynes and you start getting the idea.

One of the true marks of a skilled worker is to make something look easy. And to a skilled worker it is-after years of practise.

Many years ago I saw a man at work on rolls royce cars. His job was to paint by hand the gold line that ran down the flanks of the cars. No stickers, templates, masking tape or any other nonsense liuke that. All he had was a small pot of gold paint slightly bigger than an eggcup and a small paintbrush, just like a child would use to paint their airfix model spitfire. He would eye the car panel up for a moment, dip the brush and went straight across the panel in one pass. another dip then the doors, and again for the last panel. the result was a beautifully even line the length of the car that followed the contours perfectly. No mess, no fuss.

Could I do that? No chance! And I bet you couldnt either.

WTM

  Kevscar1 20:27 01 Aug 10

FE
I suspect this particular unions leaders feel the need to publicise there own power rather than any true concern for their members.
Having seen them speak on TV a number of times on TV over BA they rminded me of Scargill talking during the miners strike.

  sunnystaines 20:58 01 Aug 10

Scargill he just used the miners for his own ego pop at thatcher.

looks like unite might try and create as many strikes as possible to ruffle the tory/lib lot.

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