Wincanton has agreed to give 150 tanker drivers pay increases ranging between 20% and 37% after facing the threat of strike action which could have brought major disruption to the UK's fuel supplies.

The deal comes after the 150 drivers, who deliver fuel to Valero petrol stations, voted "overwhelmingly" in favour of industrial action, with strike dates set, according to the union Unite.

Valero Energy markets fuel in the UK and Ireland under the Texaco brand. There are around 800 Texaco-branded service stations in the UK. 

Unite said strike action was averted following "last ditch" negotiations held last week between the company and the union.

The eleventh hour negotitiations saw a pay settlement agreed which will see tier one workers on the Valero contract receive a pay increase of 20.7%, while those on tier two contracts will see their pay rates increase by 37.1%.

Unite said the pay deal was designed to reduce the differential between the two groups of workers.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a huge pay victory which was achieved by our members showing complete unity and being prepared to take industrial action.

“This pay increase further underlines how Unite’s commitment to the jobs, pay and conditions of its members is paying substantial financial dividends.”

Unite national officer Tony Devlin said: “This is a significant pay increase in line with similar recent uplifts for other tanker drivers nationally.

"It further demonstrates that Unite’s strategy in the downstream oil distribution sector is delivering while the union continues to ensure that all tanker drivers receive a fair pay increase.”

A Wincanton spokesperson said: “We are pleased to have reached a positive outcome that satisfies all parties.”