Compensation for truck drivers

BRITISH lorry drivers who were caught up in French farmers' strikes have been told they will finally receive compensation for their loss of earnings, it was revealed today.

The news could mark the end of a year-and-a-half battle by the Road Haulage Association to gain compensation for the lorry drivers affected by the industrial actions in 1996 and 1997. But in a press statement today, the RHA said it remained "cautious" about the news despite negotiating a new compensation formula with French officials in January this year.

The negotiations followed December's landmark judgement by the European Court of Justice against the French government for breaching the rules of the single market and failing to stop protesting farmers. More than 1,000 British truck drivers were stuck in the week-long disputes which brought France to a standstill. It cost haulage firms millions and 24 independent drivers went bankrupt as a result of the action. So far the French Government has only paid-out four payments totalling pounds 800 to four individual British companies. It has been estimated that total compensation will exceed pounds 1.5m.