Australia's largest city, Sydney, is rapidly closing down as petrol supplies dwindle in the face of a strike by tanker drivers which has already lasted for two weeks.
GV Tanker drivers at union meeting (2 shots)
SV Tanker driver leaving meeting and returning to work
GV Drivers enter fuel depot
LV Drivers return to vehicles (2 shots)
SV Petrol tanker leaving depot
SV Another tanker leaving depot (2 shots)
SV Cars line up for petrol
SV PAN OVER Cars at another petrol station
CU PAN Sign "Sorry No Petrol" TO closed garage
GV PAN FROM Closed garage to empty highway
Initials BB/2139 BD/AW/BB/2155
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Background: Australia's largest city, Sydney, is rapidly closing down as petrol supplies dwindle in the face of a strike by tanker drivers which has already lasted for two weeks.
The dispute began with a ban by drivers on deliveries to Shell service stations in support of a claim for bonus payments. Following a ruling against the claim by the Arbitration Court, the dispute spread to other oil companies. The tanker drivers continued to refuse to deliver to Shell outlets and the oil companies have now stopped all deliveries. Most service stations in Sydney have now closed down and those still open are imposing strict rationing for their customers. Deliveries of fuel to hospitals and other emergency services have been going ahead as normal, but there have been no deliveries to retail outlets.
A compromise offer by the oil companias has been rejected by the Tanker drivers at Shell and thay've resolved not to meet again until after Easter. By that time all road transport could be at a complete halt and industry reliant on oil could stand down hundreds of thousands of workers. Drivers at other depots have also gone out on strike indefinitely following the refusal by the oil companies to pay them for the time when they were laid off last week when all petrol and oil deliveries were stopped.
The dispute has again been referred to the Arbitration Commission but neither side is optimistic about a settlement being reached before Easter. The strike has precipitated the first real petrol shortage in Australia this year. The country is almost self-sufficient in producing its own oil needs rather than relying on supplies from the Arab States.