In the search for petrol peace the two parties have only a narrow window before the union must decide its next move or lose its mandate
Proposals aimed at resolving the fuel tanker drivers dispute were drawn up tonight, raising hopes that strikes can be averted.
The deadline extension suggests talks are going well, but the deadline of next Friday to reach a deal is still very tight.
A strike by tanker drivers has been very narrowly averted they after they voted to accept a peace deal aimed at ending a long-running row over terms and conditions.
Unite said its members working for seven distribution firms backed the deal by 51% overall, although drivers in four of the companies voted to reject.
The union said the vote left no room for "complacency" and it wanted rapid implementation of proposals agreed.
- The ballot is expected to close on May 11
- Ballot papers were sent out today to more than 530 tanker drivers working for the oil distribution firm Hoyer
- Unite is re-balloting its members following concerns that some did not receive voting papers in the original ballot
– Diana Holland, Unite's assistant general secretary
The proposals represent progress on some of the key areas such as health and safety. But it is clear that they do not give enough guarantees that the instability and insecurity gripping the industry will come to an end.
It is in everyone's interest that we end the contract merry-go- round and the erosion of standards in a vital industry.
Delegates felt the proposals did not meet members' expectations and are recommending that members reject them in the consultative ballot.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has welcomed the proposal agreed between Unite and representatives from haulage firms agreed on Tuesday evening tonight. Unite members have until May 21st to decide whether to accept the deal.
A spokesman said:
It is encouraging that the parties have worked to produce a final set of proposals, and agreed to allow time for these to be put to the union membership.
The Government continues to believe that strike action would be wrong and unnecessary and hopes that disruptive action is close to being averted.
Following two further days of complex and constructive discussions, a final set of proposals has been produced. BP has remained committed to finding a solution tothis dispute throughout the process.
BP believes that the final proposals address the issues raised by Unite, and represent a fair and reasonable settlement to the dispute.
BP, along with the other industry participants, has agreed to a further extension to enable Unite to consult with its delegate conference and to solicit feedback from all employees affected by this dispute...
The Unite union has been given until May 21 to decide whether to accept a new deal, hammered out today after 12 hours of talks.
– Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood
As I said last time, the details of the proposals are confidential until the parties report back to their respective organisations.
After that the detail may be disclosed by the parties themselves.
Acas would like to thank the parties for their commitment, hard work and patience during the course of these difficult negotiations and hope that these proposals will lead to a successful outcome.
Acas: A final set of proposals has been drawn up aimed at ending the dispute by fuel tanker drivers. The Unite union has been given until May 21 to decide whether to accept the deal.
Both sides are set to continue talks into the evening to try and resolve the fuel tanker drivers dispute. Conciliation service Acas says: "Parties made confidential arrangements to enable Acas talks to continue."
Motorists across the country are waiting for an announcement on whether fuel tanker drivers are going to strike. Rural drivers may be particularly worse off, as we found out when we spoke to some mothers in Middleton in Teeside.
Unite must decide whether to call industrial action today as talks aimed at averting strikes by fuel tank drivers resume.
The two sides have been talking for six days, but a proposed agreement reached last week was rejected by tanker drivers.