Nancy Solomon, Managing Editor, New Jersey Public Radio
Nancy Solomon is the Managing Editor of New Jersey Public Radio.
About 30 Lukoil gas station operators in New Jersey are staging a protest Wednesday by raising prices up to $8 for a gallon to call attention to what they say is unfair pricing by the Russian oil company.
The operators, supported by their statewide trade association, are protesting high wholesale prices and a system of zoned pricing that fluctuates from location to location.
“At least give us the market rate for the competition,” said Javed Choudhry, who operates a Lukoil station in Union, N.J., and said his price is 10 cents a gallon more than the station across the street.
Franchise operators have no control over the price or the rent they pay. They can’t contract with a different oil company either, Choudry says, which has caused some Lukoil operators to turn in their keys and walk away.
In Newark, the Lukoil station was selling gas at $4.99. Most customers who drove in, saw the price and drove away.