By Daniel Hunter

A new Policy Voice survey of 991 members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) reveals that 82% of business leaders expect the proposed fuel strike to have a negative impact on their business.

The Institute of Directors urges both sides of the industrial dispute to settle their differences swiftly and without strike action which would cause “huge disruption” to the wider economy.

“Our members are very worried about the impact this strike will have on their businesses, which is adding uncertainty to an already difficult economic climate," Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said.

"The last thing business needs at the moment is for staff not to be able to get to work and deliveries being halted in their tracks. It is clear that the strike would do a lot of damage and cause a huge amount of disruption to people who are already working extremely hard to keep the wheels of the economy turning.

"This dispute is between one union and seven companies — they must sort it out between themselves, not make everyone else suffer because of their disagreement.”

Poll finding:

Question: “Fuel drivers belonging to the Unite union have voted for strike action in a dispute over working practices. The IoD has been asked about the extent to which a strike would disrupt businesses’ operations. If a strike were to go ahead, what impact would you expect it to have on your organisation?”

Response:

Significant negative impact: 39.76%

Slight negative impact: 42.48%

Total negative impact: 82.24%

No impact 11.5%

Slight positive impact: 1.61%

Significant positive impact: 3.83%

Total positive impact: 5.44%

Case studies

The IoD Policy Voice survey also asked respondents to submit anonymous comments expanding on the impact the strike would have on their business. A selection are detailed below:

· “All our staff have to use cars to get to work. A fuel strike of any length would lead to home-working which, although it is do-able, does not lend itself to our type of business.”

· “As a mail order plant and bulb business, we will need to rely on our courier to get our parcels through on time. Any delays could significantly damage our products.”

· “Fuel shortages due to panic buying have already led to meetings being cancelled and staff having to take time out to go searching for fuel.”

· “Government Ministers with no direct experience of managing a dispute should keep quiet.”

· “I live in a village with one bus each week in and one bus out! I cannot commute to work without petrol and as I am disabled I cannot travel by any other means than my car.”

· “We provide care and support services to vulnerable people, and rely on fuel for them to get out in the community but also to receive visits from support staff to keep them safe.”

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