Edinburgh Airport planning for petrol tanker strike
SCOTLAND’S busiest airport is discussing contingency plans to avert a fuel shortage should a threatened three-day tanker drivers strike go ahead tomorrow.
Edinburgh airport said it was holding talks with fuel suppliers “to minimise disruption to our passengers”.
The move followed the Unite union calling the stoppage among 42 BP drivers at the Grangemouth refinery over pay and pensions.
The union has also announced an overtime ban from next Monday.
Unite said the industrial action would hit airports and BP forecourts across Scotland and the north-east of England.
BP is one of two firms supplying Edinburgh airport, which will be anxious to avoid another fuel supply scare after the airport came within hours of running out last October following a contamination incident at Grangemouth. Airlines had to be rationed.
An airport spokesman said: “We are aware of the proposed industrial action this weekend. We are continuing to hold discussions with our partners on potential contingency plans in order to minimise disruption to our passengers.”
Glasgow airport said it did not anticipate any disruption because it has larger fuel tanks than Edinburgh.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen airport said it was currently “well enough stocked” but was monitoring the situation.
Unite said 90 per cent of the drivers balloted voted for strike action over pension rights and the loss of a company share scheme as a result of the imminent aviation contract transfer from BP to another firm.
Regional industrial officer Tony Trench said: “It’s an outrage that BP, a multinational giant which earns billions every year, is exploiting the UK’s weak employment laws to effectively swindle workers out of their retirement savings and future earnings.
“There is still time to avoid a strike if BP comes to its senses and protects the workers.”
BP said it had plans to keep the airports and filling stations supplied, but declined to give details.
A spokesman said: “Our priority remains the safe delivery of fuel products to all our customers. We have been working and continue to work to minimise any potential disruption the industrial action planned for this weekend at Grangemouth could cause.”
The dispute comes less than a year after a strike threat by tanker drivers which lasted six weeks and led to panic-buying.
A 48-hour walk-out by workers at Grangemouth oil refinery in 2008 over pension changes disrupted fuel supplies and halted much of the UK’s North Sea oil production.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west