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British fuel tanker drivers postpone strike: union

(Xinhua)

09:04, March 31, 2012

LONDON, March 30 (Xinhua) -- British fuel tanker drivers have decided to postpone a strike until after the Easter holidays in early April, the representing union said Friday.

The union Unite, the largest union in Britain and Ireland, said it was seeking talks with employers to reach an agreement at this stage.

Diana Holland, Unite assistant general secretary, said the union was focusing on "substantive talks" through the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS).

"We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks break down," she added.

Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters Friday that he welcomed the news that Unite wanted to enter discussions, calling on the union to engage constructively in the ACAS talks.

Unite fuel tanker drivers, who carry about 90 percent of the petrol used in Britain, voted overwhelmingly on Monday to go on strike to protest for better conditions and higher pay.

The union must strike within 28 days of the vote or it will have to re-ballot the drivers for walkout.

Although no date has been fixed, the threatened strike has prompted panic-buying of fuel across Britain. Fuel companies also raised prices as a result of the sudden surge in demand.

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