From Monday, Britain will deploy military tanker drivers to deliver fuel to gas stations, many of which were still dry on Friday after a chaotic week that saw panic, fighting at pumps and drivers hoarding gas in water bottles Were.
Keeping the supply chain tense to breaking point due to acute shortage of truck drivers, the government on Friday said 200 military tanker personnel, of whom 100 are drivers, will complete their training over the weekend and start deliveries on Monday.
Defense Minister Ben Wallace said, “While the situation is stabilizing, our armed forces are there to fill any critical vacancies and help the country move forward by supporting industry to help the country move forward.” ”
Labor shortages in many sectors in the wake of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have thrown some sectors of the economy into disarray, disrupting fuel and medicine deliveries and leaving more than 100,000 pigs stuck in farms.
Retailers said more than 2,000 gas stations were dry, and Reuters reporters in London and southern England said dozens of pumps were still closed.
‘Totally fed up’
Often lines of angry drivers rushed to the gas stations that were still open in London.
“I am completely, completely fed up. Why isn’t the country ready for anything?” Afghanistan-born Ata Uriyakhil, 47, was the first to line up more than 40 cars outside a closed supermarket petrol station in Richmond.
“When’s this going to end?” Uriyakhil said. “Politicians are not able to do their job properly. The government should have been prepared for this crisis. It is just incompetence.”
Uriakhil said it has lost about 20% of its normal earnings this week as it waits for fuel instead of picking up customers.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said on Friday that 26% of the pumps were dry, 27% had just one fuel type in stock and 47% had enough petrol and diesel, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said on Friday.
“Independents, who total 65% of the entire network, are not getting enough fuel deliveries compared to other areas such as supermarkets,” PRA executive director Gordon Balmer told Reuters.
Ministers say the world is facing a global shortage of truck drivers and they are working to ease the crisis. They deny that Britain’s departure from the bloc is the result of an EU labor exodus, and dismiss concerns the country is heading towards a winter of shortages and power cuts.
Although there is a shortage of truck drivers in other countries, EU members have not seen fuel shortages.
The Conservative government this week changed behavior on migrant workers to allow some foreign workers to drive trucks and come in for three months to fill gaps in the poultry sector.
In addition, farmers are warning that tens of thousands of pigs could be killed by a shortage of butchers and slaughterhouse workers.
The pig industry told retailers to continue buying local pork and not to cheapen EU products, saying business would collapse and livestock would be killed if producers were not given immediate support.
The pandemic and Britain’s post-Brexit immigration rules combined to hit the meat processing industry have resulted in a 25% drop in weekly slaughter of pigs, which was already struggling for workers.
“As a result of labor supply issues at pork processing plants, we currently have an estimated 120,000 pigs on UK pig farms that should have gone to slaughter,” the National Pig Association said in a letter to retailers.
“For some the only option would be to raise pigs on the farm.”
The pig union said it appeared to have reached an impasse, despite efforts to persuade the government to ease immigration rules.