The Revolution Driving Tuition Blog

Shell Drivers Four Day Fuel Strike Begins

Tanker drivers on behalf of Shell have began a four day strike after declining a pay rise offer from employers Hoyer UK and Suckling Transport, resulting in reports of potential fuel shortages which have induced panic buying by the public.

The BBC reports:

Hoyer UK, which is leading the negotiations, argues the drivers already earn more than £36,000 in average pay, and this would rise to about £38,500 with the wage increase.
But Unite argue that the drivers earned £32,000 for working a basic 48-hour week – about the same as they did 15 years ago in real terms not adjusting for inflation.
Officials say Hoyer UK is most likely factoring in overtime into their figures, which the union is not.
“Our members’ dedication helps Shell make vast profits,” said Unite national officer Ron Webb.
“All they are asking for in return is a living wage – one that reflects their skills, their heavy working week and helps make ends meet at a time when every worker in the country is being hit hard by rising fuel and food prices.”
In January, Shell reported annual profits of £14.2bn for 2007, a record for a UK-listed company, helped by the surge in oil prices.
Record oil prices have had a knock-on effect on petrol prices.
In the UK, average prices for unleaded petrol have now reached 112.6p per litre and diesel prices have risen to 124.2p, according to figures calculated in May by the AA.

Source: BBC

They continue their report with a message from the Government, willing the public not to panic buy:

The prime minister’s spokesperson said: “We believe that this strike is unnecessary and we would want to ensure that nothing was done that inconvenienced the public.

“But the most responsible thing the public can do is to continue to buy as normal.”

Source: BBC

What are your thoughts, should the drivers wages be increased? Are the drivers wrong to inconvenience the public and threaten businesses relying on motoring? Or is the inconvenience being caused by the employers for not matching the demands of those on strike?

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