Essex fuel tanker drivers call off April strike action after 'significantly improved deal' secured over pay

A Sainsbury's forecourt having its fuel tanks refilled
A Sainsbury's forecourt having its fuel tanks refilled -Credit:Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror

A strike by fuel tanker workers in Essex which could have caused huge disruptions to petrol stations has been called off. Unite the union has said its members received a "significantly improved deal" from haulage company JW Suckling.

Drivers in London, Essex, Middlesex and Grangemouth were due to strike later this month in a row over pay. However, Unite said the new pay deal offered includes an inflation busting 6.3 per cent uplift in wages and a "huge improvement" to the company’s pension contributions.

In addition, Unite said the drivers’ have received an increase in annual leave, harmonisation of terms and conditions and their annual bonus is now unconditional. The deal comes after JW Suckling tanker drivers last year secured a deal worth around 25 per cent plus huge improvements to overtime, bonus and shift payments.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The tanker drivers at JW Suckling achieved this excellent pay win by standing firm in their union. Since August 2021, Unite has put over £430 million into the pockets of our members through the union’s complete focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite regional officer Nick West said: “This result is a prime example the benefits being in a unionised workplace bring. Those wanting better wages and working conditions should join Unite and organise their colleagues to join too.”