XPO said it had remained “an employer of choice” for fuel tanker drivers after striking a deal with the union which raised pay by an average of £12,000.

“The vastly improved” deal was agreed after the 57 drivers on the outsourced Tesco petrol station contract recorded a 100% vote for strike action following an initial offer.

The Unite union said the drivers were determined to improve their rate as they were on lower pay than their competitors.

Fresh talks were held and following another ballot on the new offer, the drivers voted to accept it.

Unite said the deal translates into a 27% increase and now that strikes are off the table, fuel supplies across southern and south west England and Wales were no longer in doubt.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a further example of how Unite’s focus on jobs, pay and conditions is paying off for tanker and lorry drivers.

“The union’s focus has been on securing permanent pay increases, rather than one-off bonuses and loyalty payments, which too often fail to materialise.”

An XPO spokeswoman said it had spent the last nine months reviewing driver pay in the sector, as well as regional variations in pay and driver supply: “As a result, working with our employees, we amended our compensation in April 2022 for this geography and bargaining unit,” the spokeswoman said.

“We agreed to increase the hourly rate using a market rate adjustment of circa 6% for our drivers and incorporated this adjustment alongside a parallel two year pay deal.

“By ensuring that our pay and benefits remain competitive, we have remained an employer of choice.”