Hauliers and union leaders at Unite move close to a deal after six days of talks at conciliation service Acas.April 16th, 2012
Drivers face record petrol prices of 160p a litre even though the threat of a crippling fuel strike was almost over last night.
Hauliers and union leaders at Unite moved close to a deal after six days of talks at conciliation service Acas.
But motoring experts have warned that tensions over the situation in Iran and the rising cost of crude oil could send fuel prices soaring within weeks.
And the Government angered unions by pressing ahead with plans for coping with a strike.
Unite’s Nick Dennis said: “They are not being helpful in the way they’ve handled this situation.”
Ministers say the plans are vital to avoid a repeat of the panic-buying that was sparked by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude telling drivers to stock up.
Petrol already costs an average of 142.4p a litre, while diesel is 147.9p.
Unease about the Middle East could push prices up by 8p-10p, and once Chancellor George Osborne’s fuel duty increase comes in this August it means petrol could rise to between 155p and 160p, with diesel up to as much as 165p.
Details of the potential deal for the tanker drivers – believed to include a pay rise and safety guarantees – are being kept secret. They will be put to the 2,000 in Unite this week.
The union has until Friday to accept the peace deal or ask for changes.
Under the terms of its strike ballot, Unite has until next Sunday to take industrial action.
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