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51% of tanker drivers vote for peace deal

Tanker drivers
51% of Unite members voted for the deal. Drivers in four companies rejected the deal Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

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.

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Drivers to vote in consultative ballot on proposals

Drivers at other companies are voting in a consultative ballot on proposals tabled following the Acas talks, with a recommendation to reject.

Unite said while progress had been made in the talks on health, safety and training, representatives at a special oil trades conference recommended rejection, following employers' "failure" to give sufficient guarantees on maintaining standards, security of employment, pensions and sub-contracting.

The result of the consultative ballot involving tankers drivers working for other firms including Wincanton, DHL, BP, and Norbert Dentressangle, will be announced on Friday, when Unite will disclose the next steps in its campaign.

Unite: Deep concerns still remain

The vote in favour of action short of a strike demonstrates that deep concerns still remain in an increasingly insecure and unstable industry.

Tanker drivers face a daily race to the bottom where contracts are chopped and changed. It is in everyone's interest to bring order to the chaos gripping a vital industry through the introduction of industry wide minimum standards.

– Unite assistant general secretary, Diana Holland

Tanker drivers vote against strikes

Fuel tanker drivers who were re-balloted for strikes have voted against walkouts but in favour of other forms of industrial action.

Members of the Unite union at Hoyer voted for a second time after it was discovered that some workers did not receive papers during the last ballot.

Unite said 57.5% of members on a turnout of 79.5% voted for action short of strike in the re-ballot.

Talks to resume on tanker dispute

Fuel tanker
Fuel tanker Credit: ITN

Talks aimed at resolving a dispute involving fuel tanker drivers will resume on April 23 in a bid to avert strikes.

Leaders of the Unite union will meet officials from six distribution companies under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas.

Unite has been given an extension to April 24 before it has to make a decision about calling industrial action.

The two sides have already held six days of talks, but tanker drivers' representatives overwhelmingly turned down a proposed agreement last week despite progress being made on some of the issues involved in the row.

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