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Karl

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What the hell is going on?

I've just been to Morrisons to fill up (because I had no fuel, not as a panic buy !), and you wouldn't believe the size of the queue - they'd re-directed traffic around the car park because it was causing jams and nobody could move. I couldn't be bothered queueing so did a u-turn and came home.

A strike hasn't even been announced, but it seems people are responding to news coverage.

Cheers

Karl
 

marcros

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its crazy isnt it. panic buying incase they announce a strike, for which they have to give 7 days notice.

If there is a strike, will it affect the North- i thought it was the drivers that covered 20% of the petrol stations in London and the South East, or have others joined in? It isnt as though they earn a pittance, I read somewhere that the average wage for these tanker drivers is 45k! There are people crying out for jobs, and we have situations like this where the unions are calling for strikes to justify the fees that they charge members each year.
 

jpt

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Typical sheep, they hear about a strike then the governments stupid comments and rush out to stock up. Ignoring the bit about there might not be a strike as we are still in negotiations and even if there is one we will have to give at least 7 days notice.

Its like Christmas and Easter where the supermarkets are going to be closed for one day and when snow is forcast they go out and buy up anything and everything 90% of which will probably end up in the bin, makes me angry.

Rant over

john
 

Sawyer

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marcros":2e7e61ps said:
It isnt as though they earn a pittance, I read somewhere that the average wage for these tanker drivers is 45k! There are people crying out for jobs, and we have situations like this where the unions are calling for strikes to justify the fees that they charge members each year.
It's not as though the profits of the oil companies, fuel retailers and transport contractors are a pittance either!
The issue is cost-cutting by the contractors at the expense of drivers' terms and conditions pensions and health & safety. After all these drivers are moving huge quantities of extremely volatile fuel on public roads.
Remember the Buncefield Refinery fire of 2005? The report expressed concern about safety issues.
 

marcros

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i am struggling to find online a comprehensive list of the reasons why they are looking at striking. There are fleeting mentions on the bbc about changes to the pension companies over the past few years, and the relaxation of rules on who can drive the tankers. Unfortunately, in the real world, pension providers do change- mine has on a number of occasions where I have changed job. As for relaxing of who can drive the tankers, for which there are other mentions on BBC or Sky, then provided that they meet a minimum standard, then fair enough- this sounds like the union wants to make it a closed shop rather than allow competition. I wish that the law would allow companies to replace striking workers with people who want to work- dont like your terms, fine, lets find somebody who does.

Any changes to drivers terms and conditions would have been negotiated through the union would they not?
 

devonwoody

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Another way to look at the reason for a strike.

If bankers increase turnover they get more income, its tied to there turnover and prices

If Estate agents sell you house at twice the price they get twice as much commission

ETC. etc.etc.

Tanker drivers are delivering higher cost fuel and greater turnover for their employer, they want their percentage.

I am not a strike sympathiser just a realist.
 

marcros

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I dont follow that argument- if bankers add more value, they get rewarded for doing so. If estate agents add more value, they get rewarded for it. Tanker drivers are not adding any additional value- if they were able to reduce the turnaround time there is a saving, then fair enough they should be able to get a cut of that saving, but they are resisting doing that.
 

tomatwark

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Typically the first full week off I have had in a couple of years aside from Christmas, we were due to go and stay with friends in Kent over the Easter weekend, I guess that unless there is a miracle and this is sorted we are not going as I am not going to spend my holiday sitting in a queue for diesel as people have been convinced into panic buying by an silly person in 10 Downing Street.

I wonder how much extra tax the government will make in this financial year.

The leaders of Unite are no better as they seem hell bent on causing trouble for their own ends, by not sorting this out.

I am sure that the tanker drivers feel they have some valid arguments but leaders of Unite have let them down so far by being interested in their own political goals.

It goes to show though how easy it would be to bring the whole of this country to its knees.

Tom
 

devonwoody

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Macross, Judges get massive pay increases to match other income earners and they dont create more wealth!
 

marcros

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devonwoody":2ie3h9y9 said:
Macross, Judges get massive pay increases to match other income earners and they dont create more wealth!
It doesnt make it right though. Could be an excellent way of cutting some costs- let the market decide what to pay judges too. It has worked with trainee solicitors- demand for jobs has far exceeded supply of jobs, so they are paid a token wage, having probably done an entry level admin job for some years at the firm, just to get a foot in the door. More so for barristers where trainees get paid nothing.

These lorry drivers will work some unsociable hours and shifts, and they carry a dangerous cargo. They should be compensated for those elements, but at the end of the day, there are not a scarce resource- there are plenty wanting to work in their place.
 

henton49er

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deserter":4g3lxhk4 said:
Is it just me or do others find it extremely suspicious that the government causes this panic buying a week after budget day?
Yes; we are all fussing about having enough fuel and not getting totally p*ss*d off with the Govt for not abandoning the proposed 3p per litre increase due in August(?). That and the increase in the cost of hot food takeaways from bakers plus the removal of the age related tax free band of income made it a pretty bad budget for pensioners on a moderate income. :shock: :shock: :shock:

And don't get me started on the 60p first class stamp!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Mike
 

wardroom

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Went to my local supermarket fuel provider and it was sold out, on way home called into an **** garage and the forecourt was in use but no fuel comming out of the pumps, when i asked what was wrong the guy behind the counter stated he has instructions to increase the price before any more fuel is sold.

never bothered and wont use that chain again.
 

Dodge

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Diesel is getting pretty scarce at the pumps round here in south Norfolk with huge queues at the garages that have fuel.

I was hoping to head off to Derbyshire with my family for a break over Easter but beginning to wonder if thats going to happen! :( :(
 

wobblycogs

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Perhaps I'm missing something here but these guys are basically just driving lorries around. Fair enough they are dragging around a dangerous cargo but from what I've read they are making out that day in day out they are performing feats of super human driving skill. I'm sure they need additional training to handle loading and unloading of the fuel but the fact the army believes they can train existing truck drivers in 8 days makes me think it's not that complex.

I can't help feeling that the unions have spotted a weak point in the countries infrastructure so are exploiting in much the same way as TFL hold London to ransom every now and then.

And to boot the car is all but out of fuel... :-(
 

StevieB

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Just to put the otherside of the equation forward:

We all remember the problems with the last fuel strike. The governement have said people should CONSIDER keeping their tanks full and given due warning of POTENTIAL problems. This includes making contingency plans such training relief drivers from the RAF. How many of the people bleating now about over-reaction, would be the same people bleating about not enough being done if government had done nothing and the strike goes ahead, bringing the country to a standstill? (heres looking at you, Mr Milliband) Whatever they do they are damned (although telling people to keep a jerrycan in the shed is indeed daft advice). It's the general public that are too darn stupid to NOT panic buy. Government is damned if they do and damned if they don't in this instance.

FWIW, I think the biggest reasons for giving the advice they have done is a) to ratchet up pressure on tanker drivers /unions not to strike due to public opinion, and b) to try and prevent this becasue the damage to the UK economy (and chance of going into recession) as a consequence if they do strike is very real. If an extra bank holiday for the Queens diamond jubilee is already being warned as a negative factor in UK economic output, then a week where nobody works due to fuel shortages has got to be bad news economically......
 

wobblycogs

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Long term though it could be really good news for the economy. If fuel supplies become even slightly unreliable people and businesses will start looking at alternatives like working from home and electric vehicles. Not having billions of pounds a year heading off to middle east would really help our trade deficit. According to this http://www.mansgreatestmistake.com/the-true-cost-of-cars/how-much-do-we-spend-on-fuel-for-cars about 15 billion a year leaves the country because of fuel.
 

Phil Pascoe

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devonwoody":2ugeuyij said:
Another way to look at the reason for a strike.

If bankers increase turnover they get more income, its tied to there turnover and prices

If Estate agents sell you house at twice the price they get twice as much commission

ETC. etc.etc.

Tanker drivers are delivering higher cost fuel and greater turnover for their employer, they want their percentage.

I am not a strike sympathiser just a realist.
So, presumably when the tankers are om the road empty they shouldn't be paid at all?
 

RogerP

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If Estate agents sell you house at twice the price they get twice as much commission
Never could understand why estate agents fees are based of the house price.
 

Sawyer

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marcros":2thwll3x said:
i am struggling to find online a comprehensive list of the reasons why they are looking at striking. There are fleeting mentions on the bbc about changes to the pension companies over the past few years, and the relaxation of rules on who can drive the tankers. Unfortunately, in the real world, pension providers do change- mine has on a number of occasions where I have changed job. As for relaxing of who can drive the tankers, for which there are other mentions on BBC or Sky, then provided that they meet a minimum standard, then fair enough- this sounds like the union wants to make it a closed shop rather than allow competition. I wish that the law would allow companies to replace striking workers with people who want to work- dont like your terms, fine, lets find somebody who does.

Any changes to drivers terms and conditions would have been negotiated through the union would they not?
Not necessarily; unless the employer has a Recognition Agreement (many don't). Attempts to try it on with a unilateral change of contract are all too frequent and unless workers know their rights and are organised, employers will often get away with it.
Where a union has negotiated an agreement with an employer - they don't call their members out on strike!
In this case, Unite have been trying for the past 12 months to reach agreement with the various companies who employ these drivers: some of the companies won't even attend meetings to discuss the problem.

'If you don't like it, let's find somebody who does' is what all bad employers would love and leads to one thing - a race to the bottom. That's why workers in the third world for example, are treated so appallingly.
 
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