30/03/2012

Fuel Strike Fears Push Petrol Demand Up 172%

As panic over a possible tanker strike continues the demand for fuel rose 172% on Thursday.

As retailers claim the government has caused “panic buying” the demand for diesel also rose 77%, according to independent retailers’ group RMI Petrol.

As queues formed at many petrol stations on Thursday some ran out of fuel, but in general retailers said they were coping and normal deliveries would ensure supplies were replenished.

The panic started when members of the Unite union, who supply 90% of UK forecourts, voted to strike over a discount about conditions and pay. The government then advised people to stock up, even to fill and store jerrycan’s without realising doing so would actually break the law on how much fuel can be stored at home.

When criticised for the comments ministers apologised and told people to just keep their cars “topped up” and to not queue.

Unite must give seven days notice before any strike action can take place and as they have agreed to talks with employers, facilitated by conciliation service Acas, early next week, this makes an Easter strike unlikely.

(H)

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