Union says fuel tanker drivers‘ strike could be avoided

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 3, 2018

One hundred and eighty fuel tanker drivers at Pacific Fuel Haul have voted to walk off the job for five days from 16 December. The drivers are striking to protect modest redundancy provisions and for a fair and reasonable wage increase.

FIRST Union Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing secretary Jared Abbott, says the drivers are bearing the brunt of the staff shortage and the company‘s comments about them being over-paid are comedic.

“There is no way these drivers could make the money the company is claiming in the media on a 40-hour week.”

Abbott says the job requires a high level of skill and it is important that the wage reflects that and attracts the best people in the industry.

“Fuel tanker drivers are at the most dangerous end of the most dangerous industry. We have over 60 truck related fatalities every year. We need to maintain wage relativity to prevent more experienced drivers leaving the industry.”

He says Pacific Fuel Haul should return to the table willing to negotiate, rather than ignore the drivers‘ concerns.

“We were surprised by the company‘s comments given they have been aware of the strike for over a week, and at an emergency meeting held on Friday, the company walked out without responding to a number of the issues on the table.”