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From: The Socialist issue 539, 25 June 2008: Summer of action needed!

Search site for keywords: Shell - Tankers drivers

Workers' battles win results: Tankers drivers' success upsets bosses

THE OIL tanker drivers' strike has ended. The drivers struck over the failure of multinational giant Shell and the contractors Hoyer, and Suckling Transport to pay them a decent pay rise, after years of attacks. The drivers' solidarity has forced the employers to offer them a 14% two-year deal (9% increase this year and a 5% rise next year).

After negotiations between the employers and the Unite union, this deal was accepted after most drivers voted for it. The deal caused deep concern in the capitalist class, its press and its Labour government. They rightly saw this as a victory for the drivers, the trade unions and for strike action.

A Shell tanker driver, Gary, from the Coryton plant near Basildon, Essex, qualified the deal by saying to The Socialist: "My personal opinion is that we asked for a one-year deal, not two, and they are still 4% adrift on what we asked for. We are also very annoyed that the figures were leaked to the press before we saw them in writing.

"This deal got very political, we are sure the government got involved and Shell were told to back off as the government were concerned about repercussions over pay claims in the rest of trade and industry.

"At least we took them on. I personally think we pushed this as far as we could in the present climate. We have left it so that we will be coming back to talk to them about concerns over our pension."

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Article dated 25 June 2008

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