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Tanker drivers reject proposals

  • 19 April 2012
  • By Christopher Walton

Unite members from six fuel delivery firms have overwhelmingly rejected proposals put forward after six days of talks between all parties at Acas.

The union, which represents some 1,200 tanker drivers will now seek further talks with DHL, BP, Wincanton, Norbert Dentressangle, Turners (Soham) and Hoyer.

Delegates at the union say that while progress had been made on health, safety and training, proposals on maintaining standards, security of employment and sub-contracting did not give Unite confidence that the problems they describe as “gripping the industry”  would be addressed.

Unite assistant general secretary, Diana Holland, says it “remains committed” to achieving a negotiated settlement.

“For too long operators have presided over under-cutting and the erosion of standards, “ she says. “This is simply not sustainable, and it is beholden on all parties to work together to establish a meaningful set of minimum standards that brings order to a chaotic industry.

“While there has been some progress it is clear that our members need more guarantees and assurance from the employers about their commitment to meaningful minimum standards. We will be going back to the employers in a bid to reach a negotiated settlement.”

Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood adds: “Naturally, we are disappointed at the outcome, following the parties’  intensive talks at Acas over the last two weeks. We are contacting the parties and the challenge now is to see if we can find a way forward.”

Freight Transport Association (FTA) chief executive Theo de Pencier told Commercial Motor this week: “FTA members are very clear where they stand: any disruption of fuel supplies will put intolerable pressure on businesses at a critical time in the economic recovery as they would simply be unable to trade normally.”

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/tanker-drivers-reject-proposals