England

Wincanton haulage drivers vote to take strike action

Oil tanker drivers working for a haulage firm have voted to strike in a row over terms and conditions.

The Unite union said its members at Wincanton backed industrial action by more than 4-1 on a 96% turnout.

It warned drivers were being caught in the middle of a "draconian" agenda of cuts. Depots in Immingham, Kingsbury and Stockton-on-Tees will be affected.

A Wincanton spokesman said it was committed to resolving the row and meetings would be held with the union.

Unite's national officer Matt Draper said: "For many years, Unite has been warning that the growing instability in the industry must be tackled.

"This resounding yes vote shows that the time and patience of these drivers is running out.

"The Wincanton dispute is symptomatic of the wider problems in the petrol industry which is becoming increasingly unstable as the oil giants, contractors and retailers fight it out to drive down costs to the detriment of the drivers and the safe delivery of fuel."

'Workable resolution'

Unite said it would shortly release strike dates for the drivers, who are on a contract for oil company ConocoPhillips, delivering fuel to petrol stations.

About 120 drivers were balloted at the three oil terminals. Unite said a strike would hit fuel supplies across the UK and in particular the Midlands and the north of the country.

In a statement, Wincanton said: "We can confirm that we have received Unite's formal notification of the result of a ballot for industrial action involving drivers on one of our major fuels contracts.

"We are committed to resolving this matter without the need for industrial action, and this commitment is also supported by Unite.

"Both Unite and Wincanton are keen to meet as soon as practically possible to discuss the outcome of the ballot and explore all opportunities for an amicable and workable resolution."

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