Fuel Strike Threat As Drivers Reject Deal
Leaders of fuel tanker drivers have rejected a deal aimed at averting strikes but want further talks, the Unite union says.
Around 60 representatives of drivers at seven haulage firms discussed proposals drawn up during six days of negotiations with the conciliation service Acas.
Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland told reporters progress had been made in the talks, but not enough.
"The overwhelming feeling was the proposals do not go far enough in guaranteeing industry-wide minimum standards, terms, conditions and pensions," she said.
"We remain committed to achieving a negotiated settlement that brings stability and security to a vital industry."
The row is over a series of issues including terms and conditions, pensions and health and safety.
Ms Holland said: "We call on the employers to engage with us so that we can reach a meaningful settlement that brings an end to the uncertainty in the industry."
Unite urged motorists not to panic buy and stressed that it had not yet decided whether to name any strike dates.
The union only has until Friday to call a strike and will have to give seven days' notice of industrial action.
The drivers' representatives are keen to return to Acas, possibly as early as Thursday.
Sky's chief political correspondent Jon Craig said: "As one source put it to me, don't go reaching for your jerry cans just yet because they do want to go back to Acas.
"And they want to do it with some urgency, perhaps as early as tomorrow morning because it the words of Unite sources they do want to do a deal, they do want to avert a dispute."
A spokesman for Hoyer, one of the firms involved, described Unite's decision as a "serious blow".
"The team from Hoyer, along with other key industry employers, engaged fully and professionally in these talks and remain open to negotiation with a view to achieving a positive resolution to this dispute and avoid the possibility of any damaging strike action by Unite," he said.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: "We are disappointed that an agreement has yet to be reached.
"We understand that these are complex issues but urge both parties to work towards a negotiated resolution with the support of Acas.
"The Government continues to believe that any strike action would be wrong and unnecessary."
The row flared up last month after Unite announced that drivers in five companies had backed strikes.
In response, the Government advised motorists to top up their cars with petrol and to store fuel in jerry cans, leading to panic buying and shortages of supplies.
There were chaotic scenes at garages as long queues built up, leading to criticism of the Government for its handling of the dispute.
what do you think?
Whats it all coming to!
Without the two thousand UNITE tanker drivers having to lift a finger, the CONDEMs tried to make political union-bashing capital out of a crisis that hasn't even happened yet. It's heartening that such a small group of workers willing to take this government on can wield so much strength and solidarity against such a weak government that is trying to force ordinary working people to pay for their rich, greedy banker friends, while the Tories cut taxes for the rich. Workers should take heart and learn that unity really is strength and if the union leaders had half as much backbone as the people they represent we could have toppled these rich men's poodles last year.
Workers take heart?? Small group of workers willing to take on the government?? WTF!! The "workers" beef is with their employers who are private companies, NOT the government you muppet. This dispute has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with money. The unions are just trying the disrupt normal peoples lives with their blackmail tactics. The people they disrupt with strikes have no say in the "workers" pay and conditions. Atleast get your facts right, and stop trying to blame the government for everything. The only thing they did wrong in all of this is have that doopy minister shoot his mouth off when it should have been firmly shut!
Workers take heart. It's a great example of the potential power of workers standing together to fight this government's policies. It's a govt. that represents big business and bosses are taking the lead from what the CONDEMs are trying to do to public sector workers hence the pay and pension disputes that were triggered in the private sector after Govt. attacks on public sector workers. Did I annoy you slightly? Ever thought of 'anger management' classes?
Wow!!!! Try the private sector luv. The public sector had it good for 13 years. Wages, pension's, sick pay, everything and the sink. You are being asked to work a little longer for a little less and you moan :( that's the problem today, a big broom is sweeping out dead wood which is every where in councils etc. Grow up unless you can find away of sorting this mess out.
Why should public/private sector workers join a 'race to the bottom'? That's just an old chestnut in an attempt to divide workers. 'Sort the mess out'? Howabout we force the banks to invest OUR money we gave them into industry and services and get people back to work instead of cutting the taxes of the rich - for starters?
Tanker drivers £45k pa. & Soldier in Afganistan £22k pa...............says it all. Unite are trying to kill this country to make a political statement.
Well said Chris. To 'ncarlse69' (what kind of user name is that?) If you're so jealous of what public sector workers are earning, why not go and work there? Grant, Soldiers in Afghanistan made a choice to sign up and join the army with full knowledge of pay etc.
Karmacanic.............so did the tanker drivers.
Everybody out, good old working classes. So who is going to run the businesses, who are going to be the brains of the operation. Being envious and vindictive won,t get anybody anywhere only loss of jobs. Just like the couple of decades ago the end of the mining industry, our car industry and our printing industry as well.
are we getting it yet people ? was there ever going to be a tanker strike ? the goverment sent people panicing to the pumps to fill up and consume more heavily taxed fuel than they would have normaly reaping in mass increases in revenew for them just a tactic to scam more money out the poor old british public another rip of britain scam you decide ? they have to get all that silly money they have wasted on the olympics back somehow !!!!
Yes, indeed. The CONDEMs were rubbing their hands on that one. It possibly contributed to Osbourne now cancelling the coming rise in fuel duty - that AND the fact he and his cronies know his budget has totally backfired on them right across the board.
Howabout forcing the banks, for another example, to invest OUR money in a massive, sorely-needed house-building programme so the five million on housing waiting lists can have decent homes with affordable rents? Just think how many jobs that would create too. Workers would be able to buy things and pay taxes which would surely be a benefit.
We want less govt meddling & more private free markets, didnt you get the message when Liebour lost the most seats in history.
Yes Grant, but if 13yrs of New Labour was so bad, how come the Tories couldn't win the election, eh?
TheKarmacanic. Don't you realise that it was all Labour's fault that the Tories couldn't win an election. Despite two unpopular wars and a disastrous (global) economy, Labour were still so much more competent than the Tories. It just wasn't fair.
It was 'free markets that got us into this mess in the first place.
they werent free, they had too many regulations holding them back
Chris, its a Tory doctrine, keep unemployment high, then you can offer low wages and rubbish terms and conditions. This makes for better profits, higher renumeration ( coz they don't get wages like us proper workers) for the bosses.
what a farce, this government r useless they really are, and tankersr just as selfish they are willing to crip**e the nation to gwt what they want
Oh here we go again - panic at petrol stations - another price hike and we the innocent public get shafted again !!
What really annoys me with all these forces threatening or going on strike is - I haven't had a pay rise for 4 years, have no company pension and can't afford to contribute into one myself. If I was to go on strike I would be sacked - end of !
Are you part of a union Lynn? Unite isn't called Unite for nothing, as there is strength in numbers!
4 years without a pay rise, no company pension and I bet rubbish terms & conditions. You need to join a union.
Unions would be a good thing if intelligent people who understood how to run a business were in charge. Unions have always killed the goose that is laying the golden egg. All that happens is that Britain loses its industry abroad.
How is it that to get the best bosses for industry you have to pay the best rate, when the workers want a decent rate they are deemed to be greedy and bussiness wreckers and the jobs are outsourced abroad. Do you really want third world wages and terms and conditions in the UK.
like to see a boss who was stupid enough to sack you if you threatened strike through the proper channels..... tribunals love to nail bosses like that.
Never had to strike, allways had a good, workers, bosses, relationship, thanks to the good offices of the trade union. No right minded worker would vote to strike, unless it was a last resort to preserve there hard won Term & Conditions.
What i dont understand is why did the price of fuel rise.The fuel COMPANIES/SUPPLIERS put up the price,WHY? If dont rain potatoes etc.goes up.SHORTAGE.If it rains 24/7 potatoes etc. go up,cannot harvest them.Petrol or spuds if you aint got any you cannot sell em SO LETS RIP OFF THE PUBLIC WHILE WE CAN.
Yes, this is Rip-Off Britain afterall, we must pay to live in a capitalist society! Have you never heard of 'supply & demand'?
It's not so much a case of supply and demand, it's more like "how can we manipulate the markets so that we can rip-off the general public without them realising it". They must think we were all born yesterday - this country is going, sorry gone, to the dogs. Only the old etonions and their like have any chance of survival.
The problem lies with the fuel companies who a few year ago decided to subcontract all there distribution work out to the cheapest bidder, So now you have a bunch of muppet operators trying to do the job on general haulage rates. and then the companies want to cut corners and pay driver peanuts to pull round a potential bomb !!! when it was the petrol companies own drivers they understood the risks and payed a risk related wage GET RID OF COST CUTTING RATE RAPING HAULIERS Who believe the can run a professional outfit with muppets for managers
Well said Luap!
What a joke Lets go to ACAS agree a deal then later decide to milk a better deal. Good old unions. Hope the employers say forget it lets have the strike, its all they want anyway. Lets get it over with.
More tax revenue for the government coffers. Cant you see you are being conned? Bet now the deal has been rejected everyone goes straight to the garage. .
Not all tanker drivers will be on strike, Some delivery companies had things agreed before this even made any news. The trouble is, that the drivers not on strike will possibly not cross picket lines. Do not tar all tanker drivers as threatening strike action.
ok so we all run out of fuel do the unions want the wrath of joe public we remember the union shouting scabbs well what if its the other way around this time
Why if you have a contented workforce with good terms & conditions, well paid and a good pension scheme would you want to change it. To increase the profits to give bigger dividends to the shareholders, then the top dog can say look what I've done for the company, gimme a huge bonus.
time to get the jerry cans out again then ..............i was just getting down to me last 800 litres i had stored in the lounge as well .!
If they don,t want their lovely salaries and good working conditions, why don.t they leave and let the out of work retrain and take their places. It is not as though we have a manpower shortage.
I hope it is Derv and not petrol, as it is illegal to store petrol above ground and unlicensed. Also, fuel now go off after a few weeks, so you will loose performance in your vehicle.
This is why GB is going down the plug hole, to many lazy gready people wanting everything for nothing, unions getting their members to strike and pushing the price of everything up.I don't see any of the hard working immigrants moaning!! Unions use us joe public as a blackmailing tool, they don't get what they want so they make us suffer!
Are these the hard working east europeans living 10 to a house, all chipping in to pay the rent and sending money home to their famillies? Yeh! I think I'll stick being in a union and being able to live with my family under my own roof.
sack the drivers theres plenty or people that want to work and carnt find work.
There is already a shortage of drivers,80,000 allegedly.New drivers are not coming into the industry because of all the rules and regulations,plus the cost of obtaining a hgv licence £2000.And when a new driver gets his hgv licence he cannot get a job because he/she needs 2yrs. experiance for insurance purposes.
Yeh, oh and by the way have you got any chimneys that need sweeping, I've some young grand children who could earn a few coppers, might be able to put bread on the table.
Petrol tanker drivers appear to earn 'bout 20,000 to 50,000 pounds per year. The risks associated with the job are ... possible incineration. Working in a petrol station has the same risks. I'd be happier for some of my petrol money to go towards paying the tanker drivers and petrol station workers instead of for government tax. Depending on the hours they work, 50,000 pounds per year or 1,000 per week doesn't seem unacceptable considering the risks of the job. I also don't want to face petrol strikes like we had before, disrupting everyone.