Council gritters in Carmarthenshire have suspended their industrial action after a new deal over pay and conditions was offered.

GMB, Unison and Unite trade unions have been in dispute with the local authority over a collective agreement signed two years ago.

The GMB union had accused the council of "playing Russian roulette with the safety of Carmarthenshire residents".

Members had already taken 48 hours’ worth of strike action and had just begun a further nine days of planned action from January 18-25.

Following successful talks last Tuesday, January 18, a new offer was agreed between the trade unions and management.

GMB say that the details of this offer will be discussed with members over the next few weeks.

Peter Hill GMB regional organiser said: “We’re glad the council has seen sense and come back to the table.

“We will need time for our members to vote on the new offer, so we’ve suspended any further action to allow us to discuss the offer in detail."

The suspended action was due to run until 21 January, with a further walk-out planned from 24 to 28 January, before the new offer was announced.

GMB said the action was over members not being stood down from work in the expected manner after being put on call.

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Carmarthenshire County Council had previously said that contingency arrangements would be in place to ensure the safety of the travelling public as winter maintenance staff prepared to take industrial action.

The Council’s winter maintenance service ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along the highway is not endangered by snow or ice.

To fulfil this duty, the council normally treats a primary network of 17 gritting routes along the main highways ahead of freezing weather.

This includes 13 gritting routes along county roads (23 per cent of the network) and four trunk road routes. The resilient network includes the four trunk road routes.

Earlier this month around 70 gritters in GMB, Unison and Unite unions overwhelmingly voted for industrial action early in the new year.

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