Petrol stations could close during Easter 0

1,000 petrol tanker drivers are set to go on strike across the country during the Easter break. This will in effect force the closure of 8,000 petrol stations. The strike is expected to start on April 3rd.  This will be the first strike of its kind for over a decade.

Army personal on standby

1,000 Army personal will be drafted in if needed in order to replace the protesting drivers. At the moment they are being trained on how to effectively carry out the process of delivering petrol.

1,001 voting for strike action

The Unite Union’s members voted 48.5 per cent in favour of strike action, with 1,001 of members out of 2,062 giving the go ahead. A 55 per cent majority was needed and this was achieved through 12 per cent of members not casting their vote. Drivers are unhappy over pay and conditions. Boris Johnson, the London Mayor has called for a change in the law which effectively means that strike action is made illegal until at least half a union calls for a strike to commence.  On average drivers earn up to £45,000 per year.

Five out seven voted in favour

The workers in question spread out through seven petrol distribution companies. They are responsible for delivering both petrol and diesel fuel to 8,706 petrol stations around the UK. Five of the companies out of the seven voted for strike action. This means that typical petrol stations such as Esso, Sainsbury, Asda, Shell, BP and Morrison’s will all be out of action.

Panic buying is not the answer

The Government has insisted that drivers should not panic buy petrol. That could make the problem worse. Petrol stations may not be able to cope with a sudden and dramatic increase in demand.

The appalling news comes less than a week after the Budget indicated that petrol prices will exceed £1.40 per litre. Strike action would give another reason for motorists to be unhappy and frustrated.

Memories of 2000

The last petrol strike was back in 2000. This was in relation to rising fuel prices, where lorry drivers blocked petrol stations to prevent deliveries. Motorists subsequently panic purchased petrol causing mayhem at the petrol pumps. Operations at airports, supermarkets as well as hospitals had to be halted.

The strikes will naturally cause damage to the economy and will also prove devastating on a social aspect too. Can the strike be avoided?