Fuel Strike Averted
Fuel strike averted as union members accept deal
A strike by tanker drivers has been averted after they voted narrowly to accept a deal aimed at ending a long-running row over terms and conditions.
Unite said its members working for seven distribution firms backed the deal by 51% overall, although drivers in four of the companies voted to reject.
The union said the vote left no room for "complacency" and it wanted rapid implementation of proposals agreed during talks at the conciliation service Acas.
There were long queues at garages across the country earlier this year when an initial vote in favour of strikes sparked panic buying. The Government was criticised for urging motorists to keep their tanks filled up and to store fuel in jerry cans in garages.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: "This is the right result for those involved in the dispute and for the economy.
"A strike would have been disruptive to the lives of millions of hard-working motorists around the country, and put unnecessary pressures on our essential and emergency services."
He paid tribute to the 1,4000 tanker drivers from the Armed Forces who were trained to step in if the strike had gone ahead.
"The narrow vote in favour should be a wake-up call for an industry riddled with deep-seated problems. This is why we are writing to the select committee urging them to investigate the instability in the industry."
Turnout in the ballot across the seven companies was 69%, with drivers in Turners, Hoyer, Wincanton and DHL voting against the deal, and those in BP, Norbert Dentressangle and Sucklings voting in favour.
Just the threat of a strike caused a lot of disruption, but at least businesses across the country can get back to focusing on what they do best - driving the economy forward and creating jobs.
AA president Edmund King said: "UK motorists greatly appreciate the tanker drivers' decision not to put them through another round of panic-buying trauma."
“This is good news for us all both in business and private” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.