Some gas station owners say they, too, are being gouged at the gas pump.
While a gallon of gas continues to rise toward $4 a gallon, Lukoil owners say it is becoming more difficult for them to remain competitive in the market. That’s because they claim their suppliers charge them 5 to 20 cents more per gallon of gas, forcing them to pass the higher prices along to their customers.
Starting Wednesday, Lukoil station owners in New Jersey and around the country are staging a protest. They want to draw attention to the high prices they’re being forced to pay. But you may not believe their strategy.
NJ.com is reporting that, for 24 hours, some Lukoil gas stations will raise their prices to $8 a gallon.
The station owners are planning to protest what NJ.com reports is the company’s “unjustified" pricing policies, according to Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline Convenience-Automotive Association.
Lukoil’s pricing policies have caused some dealers to lose more than 50 percent of their volume, while others have “turned in their keys," Risalvato said.
North Jersey Patch towns with Lukoil stations expected to take part in the protest include stations in Wyckoff, Bloomingdale, Verona, Newark, Kinnelon, Fort Lee, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Riverdale, Montvale and Whippany, the report said.
The Morristown station on Washington Street also was expected to protest. But, as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, prices were in line with the competing Gulf across the street. A station attendant could not say if prices had been raised earlier in the day.
Franchise owners at gas stations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are planning to hang huge banners explaining the pricing situation to customers. The banners will also urge customers to call Lukoil's offices as a way of pressuring the company to change its policies.