No petrol after 6pm – Minister Mizzi calls for meeting with GRTU on Saturday
Petrol station owners began their industrial action yesterday after they failed to reach an agreement with the Government over their demands for profit increases. The main action is that pumping stations are not offering an automated service after 6pm.
Energy Minister Joe Mizzi said that after the GRTU did not accept the Government’s offer, it has called for another meeting on Saturday.
On the GRTU’s directive, petrol will only be available between 6am – 6pm, as outside these hours the automated pumps will be switched off and no petrol or diesel will be available.
The action was taken after the GRTU called for a meeting on Monday evening for Malta’s 77 petrol station owners, As a result, on Tuesday morning, there were more than the usual number of cars waiting to fill up their tanks.
The other industrial action which began with immediate effect was for petrol station owners not to pay their pumping licence to the Agency which regulates this sector, namely the Regulator for Energy and Water Services. The licence amounts to 500 Euro for every pump and an additional €50 for every nozzle they have.
The GRTU said that these two industrial actions will remain in effect until an agreement is reached while it does not exclude that other actions will be announced. The GRTU said it had presented solutions which would not affect the consumer.
In comments to TVM, Minister Mizzi added that he was ready to continue discussing but was not ready for the increases being demanded by the petrol station to be borne by consumers or businesses. He pointed out that eight years ago a specific increase for structural investment had been given, which was meant to be carried out by next year, but the majority of the stations had failed to do so. Minister Mizzi said that despite the fact that the GRTU had not accepted the increase being offered by the Government, it has called for another meeting on Saturday.
The original increase requested by the GRTU is of 2.5 cents on every litre of fuel. The PN, through its Deputy Leader David Aguis in a statement, said that the Government is obliged to discuss this issue with petrol stations seriously instead of continuing to be stubborn.