APPLEDORE shipbuilders have agreed to suspend strike action until Wednesday, November 26 to enable a two-week window of negotiations with yard owners Babcock Marine. With the support of Unite and GMB members, local shop stewards held the first round of t

APPLEDORE shipbuilders have agreed to suspend strike action until Wednesday, November 26 to enable a two-week window of negotiations with yard owners Babcock Marine.With the support of Unite and GMB members, local shop stewards held the first round of talks with senior Babcock management today (Wednesday).Unite regional officer Heathcliffe Pettifer told the Gazette that initial discussions had been "very encouraging"."They are making the right noises and with further meetings planned, we are looking to resolve this within the next 10 days," he said.Workers came out on strike for a fourth day on Monday as part of a series of two-day-a-week action over pay.They argue that workers in other yards owned by Babcock are being paid around £70 to £100 more per week.Bosses had refused to negotiate with workforce representatives until a further round of strikes planned to take place later this month were suspended."I think the shop stewards' decision to suspend action was exactly the right thing to do," said Mr Pettifer."We now have a window of opportunity to work on this. Meaningful talks can now take place to ensure better pay conditions for our members.