A strike over safety, so Mr. Numpty says “relax safety regulations”

The reported version for the strike threat by tanker drivers is:

“The Unite union wants minimum standards for tanker drivers, covering pay, hours, redundancy and holiday entitlement”.

The significant part of that statement, buried amongst usual bargaining points is, according to Unite is the “hours”.

The problem, as I understand it, is the management, in striving to reduce costs, is imposing schedules, backed by “fines” (ordinary workers get fines, as incentives, only management get bonuses).

Unite says that is concerned about the safety aspect of forcing drivers to speed to maintain schedules.

I’m a little concerned myself. I don’t wish to be sharing a Motorway  with a tired, stressed-out driver hauling a tanker full of flammable fuel capable of not only incinerating a large number of co-travellers but, as we saw not so long ago, cooking a motorway bridge, thus forcing a prolonged closure.

I’m not so concerned about the stated average salary of £45,000.

It’s a lot of money, but I doubt many MP’s would take a pay-cut to do the job.

I am concerned about the Government’s response and its obvious sympathies.

Apart from the knee-jerk response of “get the Army in”, they have suspended safety regulations:

For a temporary period, the Government has relaxed the enforcement of drivers’ hours and working time rules, for tanker drivers delivering fuel in the UK. This means they can drive for 11 hours a day instead of 9, and can start work after 9 hours’ rest instead of 11. The maximum working week time limit has been raised from 60 hours to 66 hours. This applies from 30 March to 5 April.

Now I’ve seen lorries and tankers edging across lane lines, in front of me and cursed the fact they have lost concentration and are, thus, endangering me (I don’t like motorway driving, most of the time, anyway).

I’ve seen every red brake light go on, in front of me, with traffic slowing to a crawl, because a lorry pulled out sharply, and I’ve joined in the numerous “cusses” at these thoughtless xxxx’s, as well as at those car owners who have worsened the problem by  tailgate-ing.

But to have The Government respond to what is, allegedly, a dispute about safety by increasing these dangers is criminal. Only bosses’ men, with a cosseted life experience could, so casually, accept tankers, full of potentially explosive material, being driven by overworked and over-tired humans, on roads, full of commuters etc.

 

 

 

 

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