UNION Unite has ruled out strike action by tanker drivers over Easter in order to focus on ‘substantive talks’ through ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).
The news comes after days of panic buying at the pumps across the country, and seen locally in Louth, Mablethorpe and surrounding towns and villages.
With a seven day notice period required before action can begin, this means strike action should not take place until after April 10.
The dispute centres over Unite’s seeking to establish ‘minimum standards’ in the fuel distribution industry and the union say they are ready to start talks ‘as soon as possible’.
Unite say as contracts for delivering fuel are chopped and changed, workers are missing out on continuity over pensions, training and health and safety.
Unite’s assistant general secretary, Diana Holland, said: “We will not be calling Easter strike action as we focus on substantive talks through ACAS. “We do still retain the right to call strike action for after the Easter should those talks breakdown.
“It should be stressed that what we are seeking is reasonable and no more than what is in place elsewhere in the industry. There have been minimum standards governing the offshore oil industry since 2000 covering health and safety, training and terms and conditions.
“This is not a political dispute. It is an industrial dispute and the government’s recent rhetoric will not help us achieve a negotiated settlement.
“They must set aside their political objectives and work with us, the employers, retailers and oil companies to achieve an outcome that is good for the industry and the country.”
Keep checking the Leader website, and the Leader newspaper on Wednesday, for more updates.