A major oil corporation is facing a protest--but in a twist, the protesters are its own employees. Lukoil gas station owners say that the Lukoil company is forcing them to charge customers too much for gas, putting local stations out of business, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported. More than 50 owners of Lukoil stations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are fighting back by raising their gas prices even more, to $8 a gallon.
At one station in New Jersey, the price of gas is posted as $9.99 a gallon, ABC News reported.
“We’re raising prices to an offensive level as a way of protesting," Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline Convenience-Automotive Association, told the Star-Ledger. The protest is expected to last all day today.
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Lukoil is Russia’s second-largest oil producer, the Associated Press reported. It opened its first stations in the United States in 2003 and now has more than 500 in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Lukoil dealers say that the company treats them unfairly by charging franchisees more for fuel than what their competitors charge. ‘‘They essentially sell the very same gasoline to stations in close proximity of each other at different prices in order to game the market," Risalvato told the AP. ‘‘No matter what the market conditions are on a particular day, Lukoil’s prices are higher than just about every retail competitor."
WOBM has posted a list of the stations participating in the protest today.