26/04/2012 15:05 BST | Updated 26/04/2012 16:37 BST

Fuel Strike Threat Back On The Table As Union Recommends Tanker Drivers Reject Deal

The threat of a fuel strike looms large again after it emerged tanker drivers are being urged to reject a proposed deal.

The proposals will be put to more than 2,000 tanker drivers across seven oil distribution firms tonight.

But following eight days of talks with the conciliation service Acas, the union Unite voted overwhelmingly to reject the proposals.

"Deep concern" was raised that the proposals did not go far enough in bringing stability and security to the sector through industry minimum standards.

The recommendation follows today’s meeting of Unite’s oil trades conference.

Unite delegates expressed disappointment at the employers’ failure to give sufficient guarantees on maintaining standards, security of employment, pensions and sub-contracting.

The news came as ballot papers were sent out today to over 530 tanker drivers working for the oil distribution firm Hoyer. Unite is re-balloting following concerns that some members did not receive voting papers in the original ballot.

The consultative ballot is expected to close on 11 May.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “The proposals represent progress on some of the key areas such as health and safety. But it is clear that they do not give enough guarantees that the instability and insecurity gripping the industry will come to an end.

“It is in everyone’s interest that we end the contract merry go round and the erosion of standards in a vital industry. Delegates at the oil trade conference felt the proposals did not meet members’ expectations and are recommending that members reject them in the consultative ballot.”

Members delivering fuel for Wincanton, DHL, Hoyer, BP, Norbert Dentressangle, Turners and Suckling will be taking part in the consultative ballot.

Scroll down for pictures of panic at the pumps over a proposed strike