Oil tanker drivers supplying Shell petrol stations have called off a planned second round of industrial action after being offered a reported 14 per cent pay increase over two years.
The last minute offer was made to the drivers’ union, the ITF affiliated Unite, by Hoyer UK and Suckling Transport, who are contracted to distribute Shell supplies. It followed four days of peaceful industrial action in the UK, with more planned. The drivers will now consider the offer, which is likely to take significantly increase average earnings from their current level of around £32,000 a year.
The truckers' pay rise is above inflation and the first crack in the governments campaign of below inflation pay rises over the last two years. The truckers can expect 9% this year and 5% the next. This has led to fears amongst politicians and employers that public sector workers such as teachers may begin to protest the offers made the them, which have been more in the region of 8% over three years.
Meanwhile truck drivers in South Korea have also been taking industrial action, demanding lower diesel-fuel costs, raised fees for hauling freight and minimum wages. Observers report that both trade union members and self-employed drivers have been protesting side by side, with many non-union members deciding it was time for them to seek union representation.
Actions by truckers protesting at high fuel prices have been taking place around the world, including Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and France. Most have been organised by associations of self-employed drivers.