1 May 2014
Toll Petroleum drivers’ strike threatens Northland fuel supply
Northland BP and GAS customers can expect disruptions to fuel supplies as workers at Toll Carriers in Whangarei have today started an indefinite strike in an attempt to secure better pay and conditions.
The drivers, members of FIRST Union, have been bargaining since January with the Australian company but FIRST Union organiser Jared Abbott said the company was unwilling to match industry rates.
“The drivers are seeking pay rates that are closer to what drivers doing deliveries for all the other major oil companies are receiving” Jared Abbott said.
“Despite seeking a pay increase that still would see Toll being the lowest paying company in the industry, bargaining broke down after Toll refused to offer union members what they are paying non-union staff with less experience.”
“Petroleum delivery drivers are the crème de la crème of transport operators. Often it can take upwards of 10 years of experience to acquire the skill necessary to haul petroleum. It is a very dangerous job, not only for the drivers but for all road users. Driving petrol tankers is often compared to carrying a bomb.”
“BP dominates the market in Northland. For drivers delivering their fuel to be paid rates that are in some cases lower than store workers within the same group is appalling,” Jared Abbott said.