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Tanker drivers to strike over contract cuts

Tanker drivers to strike over contract cuts

19 February 2013

Tanker drivers at Scotland’s only oil refinery in Grangemouth will take industrial action from Friday morning in a dispute over cuts to pensions and earnings, severely impacting all aviation supplies and BP forecourts across Scotland and the North East of England.

Unite has notified BP - which posted eye-watering profits of over £7.6 billion in 2012 - that discontinuous strike action will commence from 04.00 hours on Friday 22nd February, ending at 08.00 hours on Monday 25th February. A continuous ban on overtime will also start at 08.01 hours from Monday 25th February.

90% of the 42 LGV tanker drivers balloted voted for strike action to defend their pension rights and in protest at the loss a company share-match for 2012 as a result of the imminent aviation contract transfer from existing employer BP Oil UK to DH.

Unite Regional Industrial Officer Tony Trench said, “It's an outrage that BP, a multi-national 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.

Last year, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley was awarded a bonus of £2.6 million. This year, one-third of workers on the aviation contract at Grangemouth could lose up to £13,000 a year from their pension on retirement and two-thirds upwards of £1,400 a year from their basic earnings due to the loss of the BP share-match scheme.
It’s the same old story of fat-cat executives dictating a race to the bottom on workers’ terms and conditions while their own snouts are stuck firmly in the trough. There is still time to avoid a strike - one that will cause significant disruptions to Scotland’s transport infrastructure - if BP comes to its senses and protects the workers ahead of their transfer which they can more than afford to do.”

TUPE legislation (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) was introduced in 2006 to protect workers' pay and conditions when they are transferred to a new employer. However the legislation excludes protecting pensions when they are transferred to a new employer.

ENDS

Notes to Editors: For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer Tony Trench 07810157913 or Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Campaigns Unit on 07810157931.