Mobil customers can expect disruptions due to strike action next week
FIRST Union members who work at Allied Petroleum are warning customers in advance that a strike of Mobil tanker drivers may affect petrol supply next week, and they are calling on the petrol company to do the right thing and negotiate a collective agreement that workers are more than entitled to, FIRST Union said today.
Around forty mainly North Island-based tanker drivers are taking strike action from Monday 2nd December following repeated refusals from their employer to negotiate a collective agreement with the union that would set terms and conditions for their workforce. At present, FIRST Union members are covered by individual employment agreements that tanker drivers say are inferior to comparable companies covered by FIRST Union agreements.
"Allied Petroleum have tried every trick in the book to keep members locked into old-school style individual agreements that limit tanker drivers’ ability to negotiate together across the workforce and ensure a better standard for all of them," said Justin Wallace, FIRST Union Organiser.
"Drivers say they’ve been incentivised to leave the union, encouraged to join an inferior collective agreement with an employer-friendly group, and migrant workers have been threatened with visa revocations."
"Management has a ‘divide-and-conquer’ mentality with their workers that holds everyone back - the drivers, the company, Mobil, and now the public, who are going to experience some disruption next week due to Mobil’s supply chain responsibilities."
Allied Petroleum provide Mobil petrol and diesel to public transport infrastructure like bus depots, Kiwirail services and Auckland ferry services as well as direct to consumers at petrol stations. Strike action will take the form of a full withdrawal of labour, beginning on Monday 2nd December and lasting indefinitely.
"What you’ve got here is a company trying to prevent its workers from joining FIRST Union because we achieve the best settlements in the industry, and they know that a fair round of bargaining would see all of these workers on a collective agreement," said Mr Wallace.
"At the moment, these workers don’t feel valued at all - it’s their legal right to negotiate a collective agreement as union members and being told that they can’t is insulting and illegal."
"We hope that disruption to the public will be minimal and we are calling on Mobil to intervene here and ensure that one petrol distributor’s bad employment practices don’t tarnish the whole company’s reputation."