Mon | Oct 16, 2017

Tanker drivers expected to roll again today

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Fuel tankers line Marcus Garvey Drive yesterday.

The strike among petroleum tanker drivers that threatened to cripple the business sector could end today.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security said last night that arising from discussions with the Petroleum Tanker Divers' Association, "it is anticipated that normalcy will return to operations islandwide tomorrow" (Wednesday).

As the strike went into its second straight day yesterday, president of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA), Phillip Chong, appealed for calm. Chong had said that motorists would have felt the effects by today if the strike had continued.

"I would imagine that quite a few stations will have gas, but by tomorrow, things could become very tricky, unless full service is restored by the tanker drivers returning to work," said Chong last night.

Nevertheless, he had been hopeful for a speedy resolution to the dispute.

"... I do hope that good sense will prevail and I do believe the issues with the drivers are warranted and, hopefully, they get through with their demand so that normalcy can return and regular service restored."

Scores of petroleum tanker drivers parked their units along both sides of the Marcus Garvey Drive dual carriageway in protest from early yesterday morning, which caused a disruption in delivery by some drivers.

The truck drivers withdrew their services to express their dissatisfaction with several terms under which they are employed. Among the contentious issues are the lack of health insurance and poor union representation.

Drivers contend that the National Workers Union was not serving their interest.

The JGRA represents more than half of the country's 300 service station operators.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com