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

The recommendation follows today’s (Thursday April 26) meeting of Unite the union’s oil trades conference. The conference voted overwhelmingly to recommend rejection of the proposals which will now be put to over 2,000 tanker drivers across seven oil distribution firms.

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.

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 Friday, May 11.

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.