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Sunday, 05 July 2015

Union is united in fuelling misery

IT’S difficult to decide which is more galling: having to pay more than £100 to fill my car with fuel, or being denied the opportunity to do so by greedy petrol tanker drivers who have voted to go on strike.

Louise Allonby
Louise Allonby

They are trying to justify their strike ballot by dressing it up as being about health and safety, with their union, Unite, claiming the drivers want minimum safety standards introducing.

Frankly, they’re not kidding anyone. This is about money – as all strikes are.

The strike will possibly take place over Easter; and if it does it will be hard to imagine that the timing is anything but a cynical attempt by Unite to ruin everyone’s holidays, not to mention causing yet more damage to our national reputation.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change said this week that tanker drivers earn around £45,000 per year – double that of a regular haulage driver. But it seems that isn’t good enough for them.

By most people’s standards, that’s a pretty good whack for a job which, let’s face it, hardly requires massive skills. I mean, once you’ve mastered the art of reversing a large vehicle, and cutting up other vehicles on the motorway, what’s so difficult about driving a tanker of fuel from a refinery to a petrol pump?

As for the ‘safety issues’ argument: well, when was the last time anyone read about a tanker driver being blown to kingdom come while delivering a load of unleaded to a filling station?

These tanker drivers are just being plain selfish. Egged on by their union bosses, who appear to thrive on the power of being able to bring the country to a standstill on a whim, the tanker drivers should stop for a while and think about other British workers who have genuine grounds for complaint about unsafe working conditions. Such as under-equipped army troops literally risking life and limb in Afghanistan, most of whom get paid substantially less than the £45,000 which seems not to be enough for our brave tanker drivers.

In this year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, there is a most unpatriotic whiff about all this talk of strikes.

Unions such as Unite – whose leader Len McCluskey recently suggested that workers should strike during the Olympics – simply can’t bear to think that there is a feel-good factor in Britain this year. They seem hell bent on spoiling it for everyone, on attempting to cause maximum disruption to people’s enjoyment of major holidays or national events; and to make us look stupid in the eyes of the outside world.

As the army prepares to bring in soldiers to avert a national fuel crisis, and as the country’s already-beleaguered motorists start panic-buying in preparation for the chaos to come, the tanker drivers and their union puppet-masters should reflect on the true meaning of patriotism.

Have your say

Darren McDweeney, if we wanted to read your blog we would... Don't really think its in the same league as Mrs Allonby's column though and self publicity is rather shameless

Posted by Sharon on 31 March 2012 at 14:28

Louise, I am sure that if they had £250,000 they would donate to your party and have a little chat about pay and conditions with Cameron. But they don't.

Posted by Doug on 30 March 2012 at 23:36

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