April 02, 2012
“Following the announcement that Unite is calling on tanker drivers serving oil majors and refinery operators to strike, Rix Petroleum is seeking to reassure customers we will do everything we can to minimise disruption to them, comments Rory Clarke, Managing Director of Rix Petroleum Ltd.
What is the dispute all about?
Unite says the strike ballot is about safety standards and terms and conditions. It says the industry is too "fragmented" and wants a "national forum" which would hold the employers to account over conditions.
They insist the dispute is not about pay.
Our priority is to help our customers through this difficult situation.
Will there be a strike?
Whilst Unite has a mandate for strike action, on (Friday 30th March) it ruled out a strike over Easter by tanker drivers in a bid to focus on talks.
We understand that meetings between those concerned are scheduled for this week. We hope that a resolution can be found soon and that any further inconvenience to our customers can be avoided.
Should a strike be called, the union are required to give seven days notice.
What are we doing to address fuel shortages?
We are doing everything we can to address the situation by increasing the number of deliveries to our depots & petrol stations to help alleviate the higher demand for fuel.
But we need our customers’ help too in returning to a period of steady demand for fuel in order for us to re-stock the system.
We would ask them not to buy more fuel than normal and to look for any ways that they can conserve fuel.
We would also urge them not to use jerry cans as this heightens the safety risk, for example personal safety or leaks, and it causes congestion on petrol station forecourts.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates as necessary.
According to the website safeworkers.co.uk the following is the legal process when unions are looking to strike:
By law, unions must give 7 days' notice of strike action to an employer stating that it intends to hold a ballot, the date on which the union reasonably believes the ballot will take place and any other information the union has which will help the employer make plans. The union must also give the employer a sample voting paper at least 3 days before the ballot. If the company has several sites, a separate ballot may need to be held at each workplace where strike action is proposed.
If workers vote in favour of strike action, it must begin within 4 weeks of the ballot taking place. This period may be extended up to 8 weeks after the ballot but only if the union and the employer both agree to it.
For further information about the strike you can read the press release from the Federation Of Petroleum Suppliers simply click here. (opens new window).
The BBC also has up to date information on its website: www.bbc.co.uk/news
Please note, Rix is not responsible for the content and views expressed on third party websites.