JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Motorists should be able to access their regular supply of petrol by this evening.
  • The tanker drivers, numbering approximately 200, carried out a strike in protest against the delay in the finalisation of a wage and fringe benefits agreement.
  • The industrial action left several gas stations across the island low on gas.

Motorists should be able to access their regular supply of petrol by this evening, following a late-night meeting on Wednesday, January 29, which ended a two-day gas strike by tanker drivers.

The meeting was brokered by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and involved the tanker drivers and their union and the haulage contractors.

The tanker drivers, numbering approximately 200, carried out a strike in protest against the delay in the finalisation of a wage and fringe benefits agreement. The industrial action left several gas stations across the island low on gas.

Energy Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell told JIS News on January 30 that the workers agreed last night to resume full operations at 5:00 a.m. this morning.

“We believe that with the shortages across the country, we wouldn’t get back to normal supplies at service stations until sometime this evening. I am assured that deliveries have been made, and the gas stations are being dealt with,” he stated.

The strike was the second in recent weeks as the tanker drivers are demanding that their employers honour a memorandum of understanding signed last year for the implementation of new haulage rates on January 1.

The Minister, in lamenting the disruption in the sector, and inconvenience to the public, said that certain guidelines must be put in place for the operation of the industry, which was deregulated two years ago.

“We now need to put in place certain guidelines, and to enshrine them into law as to how the industry players operate; what are going to be the codes of conduct, and very importantly, how we are going to be able to achieve equity and parity amongst those players,” he stated.

“I am going to be doing the consultations with all the players. We have been doing it for a while, so it’s not going to be lengthy,” the Minister stated, noting that by the end of March/early April, “we will be able to signal to the country, the rules that will govern the operation of the industry.”

Minister Paulwell, who has had several meetings with the players, said “we have already identified the major issues that we will have to prescribe legislation to deal with, and we are going to be pursuing that with a matter of urgency, now.”