Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which represents tanker drivers, is seeking urgent answers after it was revealed that the government is planning to deploy 1,600 troops to drive oil tankers in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Alarming development

Unite national officer Tony Devlin said: “This is an alarming development and the government appears to be pressing ahead with this plan, without any consultation with Unite.

“Deploying troops should be a last resort and not the first act of a government when presented with a challenge. There is no reason why the army would be required to deliver fuel when there are thousands of highly trained and experienced tanker drivers to do so.

“Unite has major concerns that the troops will not have the experience to deliver a normal supply safely, placing themselves and the general public in danger.

Increased danger

“That danger will be increased as it appears that the government is also planning to relax driving regulations, which will result in tired and exhausted drivers operating tankers.

“It is imperative that the government immediately engages with Unite to ensure that our tanker driver members, who have been at the forefront of improving safety in the industry, are properly informed about the government’s intentions.

“Unite and senior key people in the industry have worked extremely hard to ensure good stable industrial relations, these could be severely damaged by this reckless act. “

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey..