DCSIMG

No shortages yet as fuel drivers strike continues

FEARED petrol shortages failed to materialise yesterday as tanker drivers began the second day of a 72-hour strike.

Drivers from Grangemouth say ten million litres was not delivered on Friday as a result of the first day of the strike.

There had been fears the weekend would see forecourt shortages and potential disruption at Scotland’s airports, but there were no reports of garages running out of fuel.

However, with at least ten million litres of fuel undelivered, there may be a knock-on effect if the strike resumes next week.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport, where smaller fuel storage tanks mean shortages are possible, said: “It is business as usual.”

The strike is due to end tomorrow morning, but more action is planned for Thursday if an agreement with BP cannot be reached.

The refinery delivers to hundreds of forecourts across Scotland as well as to airports in Scotland and the north of England.

Yesterday the Scottish Government said it was unaware of any disruption. But it was believed airports are already working on contingency plans.

The strike is due to resume on Thursday if no agreement can be reached with BP over pay and pensions.

Union official Peter Welsh said: “Our members are pretty resolute. Nothing is coming out of or going into the refinery.”

Drivers are set to lose £1,400 a year in pay and as much as £100,000 in total from their pensions following the transfer of the Grangemouth plant from BP to DHL.

Unite official Tony Trench said: “We’ve had a tremendously solid start to this strike action and our members are resolute in our pursuit of pay and pensions justice. We’re in this for the long haul.

“On a normal day up to ten million litres of fuel will pass through the refinery gates and out to airports and forecourts across the country, but not today. Our message to BP is simple: Do the right thing. Pay up on the cuts our members will suffer.”

A BP spokesman said: “Our priority remains the safe delivery of fuel products to all our customers. We have been working to, and continue to work to, minimise any potential disruption the industrial action planned for this weekend at Grangemouth could cause.”

 

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