Tees

Tanker drivers at South Killingholme and Stockton postpone strike

A 13-day strike by tanker drivers on Teesside and North Lincolnshire over pay and conditions has been suspended to allow talks to take place.

Unite union members, who work for the fuel haulage company Wincanton at sites in Stockton and South Killingholme, walked out on Friday.

The union said it hoped the talks would succeed, but if not, action would resume on 9 February.

Wincanton has not yet issued a response to the union's latest move.

Unite official Matt Draper said: "The strike has been suspended today as an act of goodwill.

"We are committed to finding a negotiated outcome in the days ahead. The ball is now in Wincanton and ConocoPhillips' court.

"We hope further talks will succeed. As the previous seven days of strike action have shown, our members are prepared to defend their livelihoods should these talks fail."

In a response to Friday's walkout, Wincanton said in a statement: "It is becoming increasingly difficult to make progress in this dispute because Unite continues to move the goal posts and there is a complete lack of consistency in its demands.

"We have a duty of care to protect the employment of our drivers who are among the best rewarded in the UK with an average total income in excess of £45,000 per year for an average 37-hour week."

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