Fuel tanker drivers will meet this afternoon to discuss proposals drawn up after six days of talks aimed at averting industrial action over terms and working conditions.

A deal from fuel distributors was put on the table at conciliation service Acas last Friday but both sides have agreed that details of the proposal will remain confidential while they are being decided on.

Unite has until this Friday to accept the deal or announce a strike, after a deadline for calling industrial action was extended. It would then have to give seven days’ notice of any industrial action.

The tanker drivers threatened strike action over saftey, pay and working conditions, and prompted panic-buying at the pumps in the run-up to Easter.

After proposals were reached last Friday Acas said it was hopeful a deal will be agreed. “Acas has been shuttling between the parties and the process has been a challenging one but we are pleased to announce that a set of proposals have been reached,” said the chief conciliator, Peter Harwood. “Acas is pleased at this development and hope that the matter will soon be settled.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy & Climate Change said: “The government welcomes the news that Unite plan to put a deal to their members. We hope that this will lead to the threat of strike action being lifted. The government continues to believe that any strike action is wrong and unnecessary.

“We will continue to work on contingency plans to increase the country’s resilience in the event of a strike.

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