Fuel strike threat returns as tanker drivers told to reject deal

FUEL tanker drivers have been advised to reject a proposed deal on pay and conditions after union bosses said it “did not go far enough”, raising the prospect of a strike that could lead to fuel shortages.

Officials at the Unite trade union met yesterday and agreed “overwhelmingly” to recommend that the proposals should be rejected.

Diana Holland, assistant general secretary of Unite, said: “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.”

The ballot of drivers is expected to close on 11 May and any strike could begin a week afterwards.

The rejection comes despite eight days of discussions at conciliation service Acas aimed at resolving differences between unions and distributors.

Wincanton, one of the firms affected, says it has “limited” room for concessions in the current economic environment, particularly with regards to a minimum wage level.