LONDON -- A threatened strike by fuel-tanker drivers has
been avoided after members of the drivers' union voted to
accept a deal offering common safety standards and training, as
well as an accreditation scheme for drivers, a statement on the
union's website said.
The Unite union, which represents the drivers, said Friday that
its members backed the deal by 51% overall, although drivers in
four of the seven haulage companies it represents voted to
The turnout for the vote was 69%, it said.
Unite voted in March to take strike action if tanker
companies didn't agree to requests about improved working
The strike would have involved around 90% of drivers
delivering fuel to UK gas stations for 11 oil companies and
would have affected the fuel retail operations of J. Sainsbury,
Tesco, Asda Group, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores,
ExxonMobil's Esso brand, and Royal Dutch Shell, the union
The deal was reached after eight days of talks at the UK
arbitration group Acas, Unite said.
"This narrow vote in favor lifts the threat of strike
action, but leaves the companies with no room for complacency,"
said Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland.
"The narrow vote in favor should be a 'wake-up' call for an
industry riddled with deep-seated problems. This is why we are
writing to the Energy and Climate Change select committee
urging them to investigate the instability in the
The accepted proposals include the introduction of an
industry-wide accreditation, or "passport," covering health and
safety and training, said the union.
Dow Jones Newswires