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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Petrol tanker strike averted as drivers accept deal


The threat of a national fuel strike has been averted after tanker drivers narrowly voted to accept a deal aimed at ending a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Unite said that 51% of its 2,000 members, who worked for a total of seven distribution companies, backed the deal despite a recommendation to reject it.
Turnout at the ballot was 69%, with drivers at four companies – Turners, Hoyer, Wincanton and DHL – voting against the proposals and the rest – BP, Norbert Dentressangle and Sucklings – voting in favour.
But Diane Holland, the union’s assistant general secretary said that the vote left no room for “complacency” and it wanted to see a rapid implementation of the proposals, which were thrashed out after eight days of talks at the conciliation service, Acas.
The proposals include common standards for safety and training as well as a driver accreditation scheme to act as an “industry-wide ‘passport’”.
Unite added that the dispute had highlighted deep-seated problems in the fuel supply system and it intended to call for an industry investigation by the energy select committee.
In March, there were long queues at garages across the country, after an initial vote in favour of strikes sparked panic-buying. The coalition government was criticised at the time for urging motorists to fill up their tanks and store fuel in jerry cans in their garages.
Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “This is the right result for those involved in the dispute and for the economy. A strike would have been disruptive to the lives of millions of hard-working motorists around the country, and put unnecessary pressure on our essential and emergency services.”
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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