Updated: Fuel stations to begin strike on Tuesday, no service after closing time at 6pm

Updated: Fuel stations to begin strike on Tuesday, no service after closing time at 6pm

updated fuel stations to begin strike on tuesday no service after closing time at 6pm - Updated: Fuel stations to begin strike on Tuesday, no service after closing time at 6pm

Fuel stations will go on strike on Tuesday, with fuel pumps being switched off after hours, the GRTU said on Monday evening.

Furthermore, fuel station owners will not be paying their license to the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS).

The decision was taken during a meeting that started at 7pm on Monday, after talks with the Energy Ministry stalled last week.

That meeting was held to discuss the possibility of the government funding the required €21 million needed to re-fit the 90% of petrol stations in Malta and Gozo which do not fall within the requirements of an EU directive.

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In a statement after meeting with fuel station owners on Monday, GRTU said that, as from Tuesday, motorists will not be able to buy fuel after closing time at 6pm. This means that self-service refuelling will not be available.

Payments of licenses to REWS will also be withheld.

GRTU said these actions will remain in place until an agreement is reached and it is not excluded that the industrial action will be stepped up.

It reiterated that it had presented the government with solutions that would not have an impact on consumers.

The Malta Independent had earlier been informed that members who work in the transport industry had been instructed to take the precautionary measures to ensure they are prepared in case of a strike. 

GRTU had warned that it would resort to industrial action, saying that the government had not honoured its promises on agreements that were reached.

In 2014, the GRTU presented the government with a detailed study on a restructuring programme that needed to be in place by 2020. To get in line with an EU directive, the study showed that all the equipment of 80 out of the 90 petrol stations in Malta and Gozo would need to be changed. This includes the petrol pumps, piping and the underground storage tanks.

The study noted that a total of €21 million was needed to complete all the necessary petrol pump upgrades needed to get in line with the EU directive.

It said several meetings have been held since then, including more recently with the minister responsible, Joe Mizzi, but no progress has been achieved.

Last Wednesday, GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo said no agreement had been reached during the meeting with Energy Minister Joe Mizzi.

In a statement on Wednesday, the government said the Malta Resources Authority had, in 2011 allowed fuel station owners to set higher profit margins on condition that they would pay for the investment required to be carried out by 2020.

The government said it had noted the increases requested by the GRTU but did not accept in view of the fact that consumer prices increase according to the international fuel prices.

The government offered an increase that was higher than that decided in 2011 which does not put any added burden on families and businesses, the government said, adding that it was still open to discussion. 

 

 

 

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