Pressure for strikes mounts in tanker drivers' battle

Submitted by Matthew on 25 April, 2012 - 10:00

A conference of oil tanker driver trade union reps has overwhelmingly voted to reject the deal offered by fuel haulage bosses in an attempt to avert a potential strike over safety and minimum standards.

Although the drivers’ union, Unite, resumed talks at conciliation service ACAS, the decision piled pressure on the union to name strike days, something it had been reluctant to do since drivers voted for action. In a nervy anticipation of a legal challenge, it has even begun re-balloting drivers at one company (Hoyer), meaning those workers cannot take part in any strike action until their second ballot is completed.

As Solidarity went to press, Unite’s strike ballot mandate was due to expire, with no announcement of strike dates as yet forthcoming from the union.

Unite officials claim “some progress” has been made in talks. The details of the offer have not been made public.

Workers are demanding cross-industry minimum standards on pay and health and safety, and the creation of a cross-industry forum to guarantee union oversight of whether standards are being enforced.

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