British tanker strike talks adjourned

6th April 2012, Comments 0 comments

"Constructive" talks aimed at preventing a strike by British fuel tanker drivers were on Thursday adjourned until after Easter, the government's conciliation service said.

Officials from six distribution companies have been in meetings with leaders of the Unite union for two days in a bid to avert a strike called over safety standards and workers' terms and conditions.

"After 24 hours of discussions over two days between Unite and the six fuel distribution contractors, talks adjourned at 10:00 pm (21:00 GMT) this evening with the parties agreeing to meet again with Acas next Tuesday," Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood said.

"The discussions have been constructive with the parties positively engaged and committed to the process. We are pleased that they have agreed to continue their discussions with Acas next week."

Drivers last month voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike.

Around 2,000 Unite members at seven companies were balloted for the first national campaign of action in over a decade, with those at five companies supporting walkouts.

Unite said industrial action was backed by an average of nearly 70 percent in the five firms, which deliver fuel to Shell and Esso filling stations as well as to supermarkets.

Soldiers are undergoing training to deliver fuel to filling stations in case tanker drivers go ahead with the action.


© 2012 AFP

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