Union backs fuel tanker strike

Fuel tanker drivers have voted in favour of industrial action in a move that could shut down thousands of petrol stations across the UK.

The threat of a strike stems from a dispute over terms and conditions and safety standards. Although the Government has insisted it has robust contingency plans in place, a strike is likely to cause severe disruption.

Around 2,000 members of the Unite union at seven companies were balloted, with five firms backing the industrial action. On average, the union said the walkouts were supported by 69% of drivers across the five firms.

Should the national strike go ahead it would affect fuel deliveries to Shell and Esso garages as well as supermarket chain outlets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's. Around 90% of Britain's petrol stations would be affected by the action, which would be the first national campaign for more than 10 years.

Thousands of forecourts would be forced to close, with long queues likely at those which are able to open. Shortages of fuel would lead to an increased number ofbreakdowns as people run their cars to low fuel levels, as well as longer waiting times to fill up and severe travel disruption across the UK.

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