Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Talks due in tanker drivers dispute

Conciliation talks between the Unite union and fuel distributors will take place on Wednesday

Talks aimed at resolving the fuel tanker drivers dispute are to be held on Wednesday, Acas has announced.

The conciliation service has been in contact over the past few days with the Unite union and the seven distribution firms involved in the row.

An Acas spokesman said: "We have now held briefings with all the relevant parties and can confirm that substantive conciliation talks will take place on Wednesday.

"Talks will take place on Wednesday morning at an undisclosed location."

The dispute over terms and conditions and health and safety has been brewing for more than a year but flared up a week ago when Unite announced that workers in five of the firms had voted to strike.

The Government advised motorists to top up with fuel, leading to chaotic scenes at garages across the country as people queued for petrol.

Unite announced on Friday it would not be striking over Easter as it engaged with Acas over the peace moves.

The union would have to give seven days notice of any industrial action.

Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey said: "We welcome this development and thank Acas for their efforts to pull both sides together.

"For nearly two years, we have been trying to persuade the fuel distribution sector to work with us to defend best practice across the industry."