Dan Milmo and Peter Walker
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Hopes of a resolution to the fuel tanker drivers’ dispute have been raised with the Unite trade union and petrol hauliers edging closer to agreeing peace talks as panic buying continues to grip parts of Britain.
Queues of traffic snaked past petrol stations around Britain as the threat of a national fuel strike panicked motorists into refilling. By lunchtime on Thursday police in Dorset had asked some forecourts to close altogether.
It is understood that Unite and fuel distributors could finalise the framework for discussions by Monday, with talks expected to begin soon after. A spokesman for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service said: “Acas has been in contact with Unite officials as well as all the contractors involved in the fuel tanker drivers’ dispute. We are now in the process of receiving more detailed briefings from the parties on the various issues underpinning the dispute. This will enable us to determine more clearly the form substantive talks should take to provide the best opportunity for a negotiated settlement.
“We should conclude that process by Monday and would then hope substantive discussions would follow shortly afterwards.”