01 May 2012
Wincanton’s response to Unite’s recommended rejection of proposal to tanker drivers
A spokesperson from Wincanton said:
"We are disappointed that despite a total of eight days around the table with Acas, Unite is recommending that its members should reject the proposals that were jointly agreed by its officials and the six employers.
The proposal document, which represents the limit of what we can agree, will be a positive step in bringing the wider industry up to the same high standards of health & safety and training provided by the six employers involved in the discussions - which Unite has acknowledged throughout the process.
The three working parties that we have jointly developed will deliver higher governance by external bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive and will enable us to explore the development of a framework for our drivers to transfer their training and pensions, should their employment move to a different contractor. Their terms and conditions of employment are already protected under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) regulations.
At the same time, the Industry Benchmarking Study that the employers have agreed to fund via the Incomes Data Service, will provide Unite with robust data on terms and conditions across the sector and a basis for meaningful discussions with those employers who do not currently offer fair rates of pay.
Wincanton welcomes Unite's decision to take the proposal to the entire balloted population, but regrets the union’s call for rejection before its members have had the opportunity to see it. It is only fair and reasonable that our drivers are able to give the appropriate consideration to the proposal and we hope they will acknowledge the progress that has been made by voting for an end to this damaging dispute.
In the meantime, in collaboration with the government, the MOD and our customers, we will continue with our contingency planning to minimise the inevitable disruption Unite is aware a strike would cause."
Notes to editors:
Wincanton employs 440 drivers and delivers over 7.6 billion litres of fuel per annum.
In the ballot, which concluded on 26 March, almost one third of Wincanton’s 440 drivers did not vote and therefore less than 50% are in favour of industrial action.
Our drivers are among the best rewarded in the industry, with average earnings of around £45,000 per annum, which is well over the average driver’s salary and almost twice the national average wage.
We employ over 150 in-house driver trainers and ensure that every Wincanton tanker driver receives a minimum of three days’ training per year. This is significantly above the Driver Training Directive of 35 hours over five years.
Victoria Aitchison – email@example.com; 01249 710434
Holly Porter – firstname.lastname@example.org; 01249 710423