Tanker drivers have been recommended to reject proposals tabled following eight days of talks at Acas, in a consultative ballot.

The recommendation followed a meeting of Unite the union’s oil trades conference, which voted overwhelmingly to advise rejection of the proposals. The deal will now be put to more 2,000 drivers across seven distributors.

At the conference delegates recognised that progress had been made on health, safety and training, but expressed deep concern that the proposals did not go far enough in bringing stability and security to the sector through industry minimum standards.

Unite said 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 to more than 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 Friday, May 11. Unite assistant general secretary, Diana Holland, said: "It is in everyone’s interest that we end the contract merry-go-round and the erosion of standards in a vital industry."