Talks between fuel tanker drivers and their employees are set to rumble on after drivers yesterday rejected a deal drafted last week.
Unite the union said drivers turned down proposals after a specially-convened oil trades conference of 60 tanker driver representatives from across the UK.
Fears over a fuel strike have died down since the union first announced plans to strike at the end of March, prompting a week of people panic-buying petrol.
Unite assistant general secretary, Diana Holland said: “While there has been some progress it is clear that our members need more guarantees and assurance from the employers about their commitment to meaningful minimum standards. We will be going back to the employers in a bid to reach a negotiated settlement.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “We are disappointed that an agreement has yet to be reached. We understand that these are complex issues but urge both parties to work towards a negotiated resolution with the support of Acas.
“The Government continues to believe that any strike action would be wrong and unnecessary.”
Strike mediator Acas said it was also disappointed. Peter Harwood, its Chief Conciliator said: “We are contacting the parties and the challenge now is to see if we can find a way forward.”