FIVE hours of talks between management and union representatives at Appledore shipyard today (Tuesday) brought hope that a solution to the pay dispute there could be close. Heathcliff Pettifer of the Unite union told the Gazette: I believe we are very cl

FIVE hours of talks between management and union representatives at Appledore shipyard today (Tuesday) brought hope that a solution to the pay dispute there could be close.Heathcliff Pettifer of the Unite union told the Gazette: "I believe we are very close, but there are still Ts to cross and Is to dot. We are hoping that can be done when we meet again on Thursday."A joint statement at the close of today's meeting said: "The company and the trades unions had positive discussions in order to reach a settlement to the pay agreement and industrial dispute. Significant progress has been made towards the company tabling a revised offer and discussions will continue on Thursday, November 20. Industrial action remains suspended to enable a conclusion of this dispute in a situation of normal working.