Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Pumped up demands

I filled up this week (but not at my local Shell which has hiked its price for a litre of unleaded to a record-breaking 121.9, 133.9 for Diesel). The tanks were running dry at Shell, Osterley, West London as the photo shows.

This weekend Shell's striking tanker drivers threatened to bring the country to a halt as fuel supplies ran out. It's ironic, a week earlier an email had been doing the rounds suggesting a boycott of one of the national petrol chains - working on the assumption that if say BP had no customers it would have to cut prices to get motorists back onto its forecourts. Ironic, because as soon as there was even a possibility Shell would have no fuel everyone rushed to fill up. It would be amazing if co-ordinated people power could produce a boycott on that scale. I can't recall anything like it happening before.

Today the striking tanker drivers won their dispute - achieving a staggering 14% pay rise - 9% this year, 5% next.

Should UK drivers boycott Shell for a week?
No sales = No deliveries = No wages.

Meanwhile The Government urges wages restraint - yesterday came the worst inflation figures for a decade. When asked about the tanker drivers' settlement Business Secretary John Hutton said the deal was 'a reflection of conditions particular to their industry'.

Yesterday inflation warnings were on amber - now they're on red alert. More pay for the tanker delivery drivers = higher prices at the pumps. Next we all demand more pay from our bosses so we can afford to fill up our cars. So how is the tankers drivers' pay award 'particular to their industry' Mr Hutton?

Perhaps we should try that Shell forecourt boycott?

No comments: