Cascade Oil has delivered some heating oil in 5-gallon drums this week, hoping that will keep customers warm while the company's truck drivers...

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Cascade Oil has delivered some heating oil in 5-gallon drums this week, hoping that will keep customers warm while the company’s truck drivers are on strike.

Most residential customers keep enough oil in their tanks to be stocked if a delivery were a few days late, said Paul Aleinikoff, service manager at Cascade Oil in Seattle. The company has not decided what to do if more customers do run dry.

“We’re kind of hoping it’s going to get taken care of. We’re not that far apart in our negotiations,” Aleinikoff said.

The 35 drivers who deliver heating oil around the Puget Sound area have been on strike since Thursday morning, after rejecting a contract offer from the seven companies that employ them.

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Each driver delivers up to 6,000 gallons of heating oil a day, said Teamsters Local 174 secretary-treasurer Dan Scott.

The companies, all based in Seattle, are Cascade Oil, Genesee Fuel & Heating, Glendale Oil, Olson Fuel, Pacific Heating Oil, Rossoe Energy Systems and Sound Oil.

The strike deadline was set a few weeks ago. Principal issues in the negotiations have been the cost of health coverage and the potential use of global-positioning systems on the trucks for disciplinary purposes, such as detecting speeders, Scott said.

Most residential heating-oil customers have 300-gallon underground tanks, and the average house uses roughly 500 gallons a year, Aleinikoff said. Cascade Oil employs four drivers.

“It’s been fairly warm out, fortunately, so people haven’t really been going through that much heat,” he said.

The forecast for the holiday weekend calls for low temperatures between 43 and 51 degrees, and highs about 6 degrees warmer.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com

The Associated Press contributed to this article