Scaffolders barred from Shetland Gas Plant
Shetland Gas Plant main contractor Petrofac refused up to 60 scaffolders entry to the site on Saturday morning following a dispute flared up at lunchtime on Friday.
The Shetland Times understands that the men were protesting about their changing area being moved further from their workplace, which meant they had to walk to and from their lockers in the morning and evening before and after being bussed to work.
The men, employed by Bilfinger, insisted they wanted to be paid for this time. They left the site at 1pm on Friday, although no transport was provided for them back to Sella Ness.
Three hours later, the situation was resolved on a temporary basis. However, they were refused entry to the site on Saturday by Petrofac.
Regional organiser for the Unite union John Boland is due to meet the workforce on Monday.
Mr Boland issued this statement on Saturday: “Our Bilfinger scaffolder members did not walk off the job on Friday, they finished work after completing their contracted six hours for a Friday.
“They reported for work this morning as agreed with Bilfinger management, and were refused entry to the site by Petrofac.
“There have been a number of issues over the last few weeks for our Bilfinger scaffolder members working at the Shetland Gas Plant.
“They have been told, with no consultation; that they must share accommodation, get washed and changed in their own time, and had other restrictions put on them.
“This has unsurprisingly led to heightened tensions in the workforce.
“I will be in Shetland on Monday to try and find a resolution to these issues.”
On Sunday morning it was agreed Bilfinger scaffolder members would return to work in the afternoon, to allow discussions to take place on Monday.
Two years ago, trouble erupted when gas plant workers complained about having to share rooms in the 450-room accommodation building at Sella Ness.