Morrisons branded petrol station

The Unite union has warned that drivers using Morrisons petrol stations in London, the South East and East Anglia face the possibility of shortages if a dispute goes ahead.

A group of 19 drivers employed by DHL Supply Chain based in West Thurrock are being balloted for strike action or alternative industrial action. The drivers deliver petrol and diesel to 55 petrol stations at Morrisons supermarkets across the region,

Unite estimated that stores would only have one day’s stock, so would run dry very quickly if the dispute lasted more than a few days.

The dispute centres on a driver who allegedly had his wages ‘docked’ over seven months to the tune of £5,200, after he was involved in an accident. The union said this was “grossly unfair”.

Unite said it would hold “make-or-break” talks with management tomorrow (Friday). The ballot closes on Friday 27 January and industrial action threatening petrol deliveries could start from 4 February.

Unite regional officer Paul Travers said: “The ballot for industrial action closes on the 27 January, which means that Morrisons petrol stations could be running low on fuel from 4 February onwards. We estimate that stores will only have one day’s stock so will run dry very quickly, if the dispute runs over a few days.

“Motorists, customers of Morrisons, seeking fuel could be seriously affected.

“Our member was involved in an incident when a driver cut in front of him as he was travelling along a major road and he was forced to brake extremely sharply. In doing so he seriously injured his back.

“His forward-facing camera activated and should have recorded the incident. The management was made aware, but failed to download the recording which is the agreed procedure. Yet DHL continues to act as if there has been no wrong-doing by them.

“Unite has supported our member through the grievance procedure, despite DHL admitting it failed to follow procedure and download the footage.

“Unless the company offers restitution, it looks very likely there will be a strong vote in favour of industrial action.”