Scotland business

Unite says strike by Grangemouth dockers suspended

Port of Grangemouth Image copyright Forth Ports
Image caption The Port of Grangemouth handles more than 150,000 containers annually

A strike by dockers at the Port of Grangemouth has been suspended following a breakthrough in a dispute over shift patterns.

The union Unite said the action was suspended after port owners Forth Ports agreed to hold talks.

Arrangements are being made with the conciliation service Acas, with talks expected to begin early this week.

Unite said picket lines would be lifted and about 80 port workers would make "a full return to work" by Monday.

Crane drivers and loaders began a two-week strike on Tuesday, with Unite claiming that new rotas being introduced by Forth Ports amounted to a "de facto pay cut".

On Friday, Unite claimed that fuel supplies to forecourts in Scotland and the north of England could be hit by the strike.

Forth Ports said only its container quayside operations had been affected by the action.

In a joint statement on Friday evening, Unite and Forth Ports said: "In an attempt to end the current industrial action both Unite and Forth Ports will meet with Acas next week to discuss the new shift pattern.

"Therefore the strike and overtime ban will be suspended from 06:00 Monday and the company will defer implementing the new shift roster to allow talks to take place early next week."

The Port of Grangemouth handles more than 150,000 containers annually, with daily sailings to Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe and Hamburg.

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