Acas tries to avert tanker strikes

Acas has moved to avert a tanker drivers' strike by inviting unions and oil companies to the negotiation table to resolve a dispute about pay and health and safety standards.

Employees from five of the seven companies embroiled in the row have voted in favour of strike action over the Easter weekend, when the roads will be busy as Britons enjoy the first holiday of the year.

Given that fuel could be in short supply if strikes do go ahead, motorists might want to purchase adequatebreakdown cover to ensure they are not stranded if they become stranded due to running out of fuel.

Energy secretary Ed Davey has also attempted to prevent strike action by asking Unite to negotiate with the haulage companies, with the help ofAcas . The conciliation service has been asked by Mr Davey to approach both parties to try to achieve a "negotiated settlement".

An Acas spokesman said: "We welcome the minister's suggestion about the parties responding positively to an invitation to come in to Acas.

"We are establishing contact with all the parties involved in this dispute and will be looking to see whether we can enable an Acas process to allow the possibility of some form of dialogue to start.

"Of course, take-up of Acas conciliation is voluntary and the parties themselves will determine whether they wish to respond positively to our invitation."

Copyright Press Association 2012