Pickets to step up as Toll refuses to budge on wage increase

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Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Pickets to step up as Toll refuses to budge on wage increase

Striking petroleum drivers have decided to step up protest action after talks between Toll and FIRST Union failed to reach a settlement.

Despite ongoing industrial action, Toll failed to put forward a decent wage offer for the drivers in discussions held with the union on Friday afternoon.

The drivers and their supporters are now organising five pickets at BP stations across the country this week in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

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“We are genuinely surprised by the lack of cooperation here. The company’s stance appears to be driven by pride rather than costs,” said FIRST Union organiser Jared Abbott. “There has been no movement from Toll on the few outstanding issues. They’re just wasting our time.”

“Toll is already struggling to retain their staff: almost thirty drivers have left BP’s Northland contract since Toll took over six years ago.  Given the contract only engages 8 drivers that is an embarrassingly high turnover rate of 400%.  They need to take a hard look at themselves and listen to what their workers are asking for.”

“Thousands are spent on retraining every time a driver leaves. BP and Toll must have been aware of the problem before now and have done nothing about it.  BP has got to take more responsibility for what goes on in their supply chain.”

The first picket will be in Auckland at the Waterview BP Connect Store (1356 Great North Road) this Wednesday at 1pm.

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