Severn bridges dispute: Toll booth staff strike talks
Talks have been held to try to avert a strike affecting both Severn bridges between south Wales and west England.
About 70 toll booth staff last month voted for industrial action in a dispute over changes to shift patterns.
The Unite union said talks with Severn River Crossing (SRC), which runs the bridges, would continue but possible strike action was likely if there was no agreement in the next two weeks.
SRC said it was confident of a resolution.
The company must keep open the bridges and it is understood one option would be to suspend tolls in a strike.
End Quote Jim Clune Severn River Crossing
Our negotiations are continuing and we will be having another meeting on Friday”
Jeff Woods, the Unite regional officer, said: "The company proposed changes [to shifts] and there was no life balance between working life and quality of life.
"The company walked away [from negotiations] and came up with a letter saying if you didn't adopt the new shift pattern, they would invoke disciplinary procedures."
He said staff were then balloted and backed both a strike and industrial action short of a strike.
SRC has since withdrawn the letter and the union has agreed to delay the proposed industrial action while negotiations take place.'Constructive dialogue'
He said recent talks had been "constructive" and negotiations were expected to continue.
But he warned the union would look to take industrial action if there was no agreement in the next couple of weeks.
"We don't want to lose the mandate we've got," he said.
Jim Clune, general manager of SRC, said: "We are having a very constructive dialogue to achieve a resolution."
He said SRC was obliged to keep open the two Severn bridges, but would not speculate on how this would be done in the event of a strike.
"We've never faced that situation and we're confident that it won't happen," he said.