Gas plant workers vote for industrial action over dispute
Shetland Gas Plant employees have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over a wages and holiday pay dispute, which could bring work at the site to a halt.
Over 90 per cent of the votes cast by members of the Unite union, when the ballot closed on Thursday, were in favour of taking some kind of action.
More talks between the union and the plant’s main sub-contractor Aker Solutions are planned for Monday, which the company hopes can resolve the dispute.
But according to Unite regional organiser John Boland, if Aker continues to stall over the situation which brought about the ballot, there would be no option but to give notice of strike action.
Mr Boland told The Shetland Times last week that the company had dragged out a pay negotiation initiated in February.
He said: “Continually Aker have come back and said that they couldn’t give us a decision and this continued right up until we put the ballot in. This is a position we shouldn’t be in.”
The workers had been asking for a wage rise of four per cent, Mr Boland said, but were happy to negotiate.
He said Aker had repeatedly stated it first had to discuss the wage rise with site operator Total UK and that dragged on for months with no action being taken.
A further grievance relates to the alleged non-payment of holiday pay. Mr Boland said that it appeared that Aker had either failed to pay staff holiday pay or else they had rolled the sum into staff wages.
He added that Aker staff he had met were “angry with the way they’re being treated”.