Shell fuel strike suspended

* Fuel strike due on Friday suspended * Pay deal reached for tanker drivers * Unions say deal is 'benchmark'...

Shell fuel strike suspended

The tanker drivers' planned strike for this weekend is now suspended after negotiations reached a deal.

The dispute was over pay, with tanker drivers working for Hoyer UK and Suckling Transport, which is contracted to supply fuel to Shell fuel stations, seeking a basic pay of around 36,000.

Although no details of the new deal have been released, the Unite union representing the drivers will recommend the deal to the drivers, who will be balloted soon.

Plans for this weekend's strike have been abandoned, along with a ban on overtime which would have affected the firm's ability to supply Shell's filling stations.

Last weekend's strikes had a nationwide effect, with some 600 of the UK's filling stations running dry.

Shell's UK chairman, James Smith, said: 'We're delighted that Hoyer and Unite have reached this stage in their negotiations. We are pleased that the industrial action has now been suspended.'

Union officials said that the settlement represented a benchmark for the oil industry.