Unite urges tanker drivers to reject deal

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Unite the union is urging tanker drivers to reject proposals for a resolution to the dispute over health, safety, training and security standards.

Fuel distribution companies and Unite agreed the proposals during discussions facilitated by ACAS. Over 2,000 tanker drivers will vote on whether to accept the proposals in a consultative ballot, expected to close on Friday 11 May.

Unite says the proposals have insufficient guarantees on maintaining standards, security of employment, pensions and sub-contracting.

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.”

Hoyer, one of the firms whose employees will be voting in the ballot, said: “By leading its members to strike action now, we believe that safety is being used as a Trojan horse by Unite’s leadership in its bid to seize control of the industrial relations agenda.”

A spokesperson from Wincanton, another of the seven firms affected, said: “We are confident that the final document addresses the points raised by Unite, and will be a positive step in bringing the wider industry up to the same high standards of health and safety and training provided by the six employers involved in the discussions.”

Wincanton is involved with developing three working parties to deliver higher governance by external bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive. It says the Industry Benchmarking Study that the employers have agreed to fund via the Incomes Data Service, will provide Unite with robust data on terms and conditions across the sector and a basis for meaningful discussions with those employers who do not currently offer fair rates of pay.

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