Petrol tanker drivers agree to suspend industrial action ballot for more talks

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Unite the Union has delayed a ballot for industrial action which could have affected fuel supplies to petrol stations and airports.

It said it will now take part in further talks with employer Hoyer Petrolog to find a resolution in its pay dispute.

Last Thursday (August 15) Unite said it would ballot drivers employed by Hoyer Petrolog UK Limited based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The union said they work on the Flexi-Fleet Petrolog contract and undertake deliveries to Euro garages and also Exxon Esso forecourts.

The company also delivers aviation fuel to Leeds Bradford Airport on behalf of Essar’s Stanlow Oil refinery, and Liverpool John Lennon airport on behalf of World Fuels Services.

The dispute would also impact the operations of BP, Shell and Essar at the Stanlow refinery, said Unite, adding that the dispute was a result of Hoyer operating several different contracts from its Ellesmere Port hub, but employing tanker drivers on different terms and conditions and different rates of pay.

However, this morning Unite said its members employed by Hoyer Petrolog on its Flexi Fleet contract have agreed to delay a ballot for industrial action, to allow further talks to take place in the ongoing pay dispute.

It said negotiations will now resume at a senior level in an attempt to resolve the pay dispute.

Unite regional officer Steve Gerrard said: “It has always been Unite’s position to exhaust every possible avenue to find a resolution to disputes, and we welcome the prospect of further negotiations.

“Hoyer’s management must now come to the table with an open mind and participate in constructive and meaningful talks, if the ballot is to be avoided.”

Last week a Hoyer Petrolog spokesperson said: “Talks between the company and Unite the Union remain ongoing at a senior level to reach a productive conclusion to our discussions with this small group of drivers.

“This process has now confirmed that no ballot for industrial action is actually planned to take place.

“Hoyer Petrolog has business-wide contingencies in place to ensure continued service through a range of potential scenarios and we are confident that there is no threat to supply.”