Tanker drivers strike suspended at Wincanton

Picket line
Image caption The action had been planned to last for seven days

A planned strike by fuel tanker drivers on Teesside and in North Lincolnshire has been suspended to allow new talks to go ahead.

Members of the Unite union who work for the fuel haulage company Wincanton were due to walk out at 05:00 GMT in a dispute over pay and conditions.

However, in a last-minute move the seven-day action was postponed for 24-hours to allow talks to take place.

Pickets at sites including Stockton and South Killingholme have stood down.

The union claimed the action, which was planned to last for seven days, would hit deliveries to Jet garages.

Representatives of the company and the union will meet later.

Strike suspended

Wincanton said in a statement: "We can confirm that strike action has been suspended pending the outcome of discussions taking place today between Wincanton and Unite."

Matt Draper, Unite national officer, said: "Unite hopes that today will see a resolution to this dispute. Wincanton now has an opportunity to get its priorities right."

An earlier strike by drivers, following a ballot in January, had only recently ended.

Wincanton had been accused of wanting to "annihilate" the pay and conditions of drivers.

But in a statement the company said its drivers were "among the best rewarded in the UK".

"There was never any question that Wincanton would implement new terms and conditions without mutual agreement," it said in a statement.

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