Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 21:54 UK

Shell drivers to strike over pay

Shell petrol station pump
Shell reported record UK profits in January

Oil tanker drivers who are contracted to Shell have voted to take strike action over pay.

Union Unite said 500 drivers, who deliver to petrol stations across the country, had voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The union is calling for a minimum wage of 36,000 a year, around 2,000 more than drivers are currently paid.

The workers' employer, Hoyer UK, said it would meet Unite for further talks in a bid to resolve the dispute.

National officer Ron Webb said there was increasing anger among workers, which was shown by the vote.

"These drivers are paying a hefty price for Shell's stratospheric profits. Our members' dedication helped Shell make its vast profits.

"All they are asking for in return is a living wage, one that reflects their skills, their heavy working week and helps make ends meet at a time when every worker in the country is being hit hard by rising fuel and food prices.

"We have a firm mandate for action and a workforce that is extremely angry about how they are being treated."

A spokesman for Hoyer UK said it was disappointed by the decision.

"We have made what we consider to be a good offer of 6% on all elements of pay and had hoped this would provide the basis for a settlement.

"Nevertheless, we plan to meet with Unite in the near future and remain hopeful that the situation can be resolved."

It added its drivers already earned more than 36,000 in average pay which would increase to 38,500 with a 6% rise.

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