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Published on May 23rd, 2014 | by Joe Kelly

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Petroleum drivers on strike

By Joe Kelly

Since May 1 petrol tanker drivers employed in the Northland area have been on an indefinite strike to secure better pay and conditions.

They are employed by Australia’s biggest transport company, Toll Group. Despite bargaining since January, Toll has refused to even offer parity with the lowest rates paid by competitors in the fuel industry.

FIRST Union delegate Craig Campbell said “Strikes can be hard, but we’re all sticking together. The support from the union has been massive”.

It can take up to ten years to gain the experience required to transport one of the most dangerous cargoes on the road. The job involves danger for the drivers and for road users, meaning that the job carries serious responsibilities.

The drivers cart petrol to BP so demands for better wage recognition are being put to BP. Pickets of BP service stations have taken place and are spreading. Unions internationally have sent messages of support to the strikers.

Wages and conditions have been driven down as driving jobs have been contracted out by major firms to operators such as Toll. The strike is small in scale but the action is an important step in winning better wages and conditions in the industry.

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