Carmarthenshire gritting strike suspended after talks

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Gritting the roadsImage source, PA
Image caption,
Carmarthenshire's road network is one of the largest in Wales

A strike on gritting services in a Welsh county has been called off after an agreement was reached between union members and the council.

Members of the GMB, Unison and Unite unions in Carmarthenshire had voted to take action for three evenings in the run up to Christmas.

The unions said their members had the worst road gritting terms and conditions in Wales.

On Thursday, the council said "industrial action will be suspended".

"Following lengthy but constructive discussions, agreement has been reached on a revised offer in relation to the remuneration package for staff undertaking out of hours winter maintenance duties," Ruth Mullen, director of environment at Carmarthenshire County Council, said.

"As a result of these discussions, we can confirm that any industrial action will be suspended pending direct consultation with staff, which will happen early in January 2020."

The unions wanted a better weekly retainer fee from the council.

Staff had also raised concerns about a lack of winter tyres for gritting lorries.

Members of the three unions were going to take action and not work overtime between 18 and 20 December.

About 70 members of the GMB, Unison and Unite unions were unavailable for gritting duties on Wednesday.

Unions had warned of further action next year if a new deal was not offered for out of hours gritting services.

Carmarthenshire's road network stretches more than 2,000 miles (3,200km) and is one of the largest in Wales.

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