Industrial action threat over UPS's failure to provide toilet access to drivers
UPS is in talks with its drivers after the union Unite said industrial action could be on the cards over a lack of toilet access at night.
Unite claims around 350 HGV drivers across 50 UPS depots have been blocked from using toilets when making night-time deliveries.
Unite national officer for road transport and logistics Matt Draper said: “For the last year Unite has been pressing the UPS management to show a little humanity and make toilets available for drivers who arrive at their depots late at night.
This nocturnal ban affects about 350 ‘feeder’ drivers who deliver parcels and other packages between UPS depots in the UK, as well as the agency drivers UPS uses at night time.”
Unite said the company has cited security as the reason for blocking access, although HSE has already stated that this is not a protection in law.
The union said it would ballot its members for industrial action to start in the New Year if the situation was not resolved.
A UPS spokesman said: “We are aware of the issue and are currently in conversation to ensure the needs of our drivers are met.”
Budget 2018: Decision to continue support for alternative fuels welcomed
The government’s decision to maintain the fuel duty differential for alternative fuels until 2032 provides clarity for hauliers as they move towards cleaner fleets, according to Andy Eastlake, MD of not-for-profit partnership the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP).
The announcement in the budget (29 October), which will see the fuel duty differential put on a long-term footing, albeit subject to a review in 2024, will give operators “the confidence to invest in non-diesel trucks”, according to Eastlake.
“With both diesel and gas, Euro-6 trucks delivering the very low emissions needed to meet our air quality challenges, it’s possible to renew our carbon focus on the heavy transport mode. The use of renewable and sustainable fuels in this difficult-to-decarbonise heavy-duty sector is one of the best current options and LowCVP is pleased to see the continued commitment from the Treasury to supporting this approach.
“The latest information on gas truck performance [which has been shared with the DfT], showed the benefits of fuelling on even fossil gas – specifically in heavy, long-haul operations – with up to 17% greenhouse gas savings seen in some cases.”
This, Eastlake said, with the commitment from OEMs to market and support gas-powered heavy trucks in the UK, and a fuel supply industry focused on increasing the use of sustainable biomethane, “has demonstrated a strong case for the extension of the gas fuel duty differential to 2032.
“There’s no doubt that electrification can deliver today in smaller commercial vehicles, but for the biggest trucks running high-mileage, low-carbon fuels are the obvious next step on our ‘Road to zero’.”