Oil tanker drivers working for distribution company Hoyer have backed industrial action short of a strike, in the ongoing dispute over minimum standards.

The union Unite has said that 57.5% of members on a turnout of 79.5% voted for action short of strike in the re-ballot, which was called following a technical error in the original vote.

In the ballot of more than 500 drivers a minority (39.2%) voted for strike action.

Hoyer, who delivers petrol for Shell, is one of six companies involved in an ongoing dispute over industry minimum standards, which recently saw eight days of talks with the union through Acas.

Members are currently voting in a consultative ballot on the proposals tabled following the Acas talks with a recommendation to reject. While progress had been made in the talks on health, safety and training, representatives at last month’s (April 26) special oil trades conference recommended rejection.

Unite said the recommendation followed the employers’ failure to give sufficient guarantees on maintaining standards, security of employment, pensions and sub-contracting.

The result of the consultative ballot involving tankers drivers working for Wincanton, DHL, Hoyer, BP, Norbert Dentressangle, Turners and Suckling is due to be announced this Friday (May 11). On the same day, the union is also expected to announce the next steps in its campaign for minimum standards.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “The vote in favour of action short of a strike demonstrates that deep concerns still remain in an increasingly insecure and unstable industry. Tanker drivers face a daily race to the bottom where contracts are chopped and changed. It is in everyone’s interest to bring order to the chaos gripping a vital industry through the introduction of industry wide minimum standards.

“Members are currently taking part in a consultative ballot over proposals tabled through Acas. We will be announcing the result on Friday along with the next steps of our campaign to bring stability to the industry through the introduction of minimum standards.”

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