Panic eases ahead of fuel peace talks

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PANIC-buying of petrol in Ellon ground to a halt on Friday, as the Unite union announced that it would not be going ahead with strike action ahead of Easter.

The prospect of petrol shortages over the course of the holiday period had seen local petrol stations inundated by worried motorists filling up their tanks in expectation of scarcity.

Filling stations throughout Aberdeenshire had experienced panic-buying with queuing reported outside many premises.

At the time of going to press, talks between the two sides in the dispute had just started at the offices of the conciliation service ACAS.

ACAS had been in contact with Unite and the seven distribution firms involved in the row.

The wrangle is over terms and conditions and health and safety, and had been simmering for more than a year.

It came to a head when Unite announced that workers in five of the firms had voted to strike.

The Government advised motorists to top up with fuel triggering a stampede to the pumps as motorists feared a shortage of supplies.