Morrisons petrol stations in London, the South East and East Anglia could run dry within days if a threatened strike by delivery drivers goes ahead, according to their union.

A total of 19 drivers, employed by DHL Supply Chain and based in West Thurrock, who deliver petrol and diesel to 55 Morrisons petrol stations across the region, are being balloted for strike action and industrial action short of a strike.

Unite, the union which represents the drivers, estimates that stores will only have one day’s stock, so they will run ‘dry’ very quickly, if the dispute last more than a few days.

According to Unite the dispute centres on a driver who had £5,200 docked from his wages over seven months after he was involved in an accident, which the union, says was not his fault and that the bosses’ reaction was ‘grossly unfair’.

Unite is due to hold talks with the management today (Friday 20 January). The ballot closes on Friday 27 January and industrial action, threatening petrol deliveries could start from Saturday 4 February.

Unite regional officer Paul Travers said: “Our members have shown patience and common sense, yet DHL management consistently refuses to do the same and recognise the grossly unfair treatment that it has meted out to our member, which has resulted in him suffering loss of earnings of about £5,200.

“The ballot for industrial action closes on the 27 January which means that Morrisons’ petrol stations could be running low on fuel from 4 February onwards. We estimate that stores will only have one day’s stock so will run ‘dry’ very quickly, if the dispute runs over a few days.”