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”.


Add Your Comment
  • John Mealey

    • November 21st, 2017 19:43

    Aker bullying must stop, the days of militant union activity are surely over. These workers have a case, holiday pay is an absolute right and if Aker had not included this fundamental entitlement into it’s worker’s contract of employment,they should do so with immediate effect. Offering a paltry £1,000 is an insult.

  • David Spence

    • November 24th, 2017 19:33

    I predict, once Brex*hit really gets going, workers rights and unions will be outlawed and replaced with ‘ zero hour contracts ‘, which we all know, favours the employers rather than the employ.

    The UK will become the ‘ slave nation ‘ of Europe, where our workers, civil and human rights will be reduced or outlawed by stealth, sneaked into legislation and not given any media hype. This, to a fashion, may attract businesses to invest within the UK, but it will also mean, I suspect, this Tory government abolishing the ‘ minimum wage or living wage ‘ in order to compete with ‘ third world countries ‘ who, on average, pay their workers 40 pence a hour.

    It may not get quite as bad as this, but it will definitely, under Brex*hit, not get any better……….for the workers.

    This whole mess with Brex*hit is nothing more than the Tories wanting a trade deal with the USA, without the interference of the EU, the privatisation of most Government responsibilities and duties of care, the Tories benefiting as share-holders of these companies, and most of our working rights outlawed thereafter.

    The future is bright, the future is 1984.

  • James Sinclair

    • November 27th, 2017 17:43

    No, I’m sorry,I haven’t seen any marbles…..

  • ian tinkler

    • November 28th, 2017 13:00

    “The future is bright, the future is 1984.” wonderful David, as always you are looking backwards. Were you not aware George Orwell was parodying socialist Dictatorship and the USSR when he wrote “1984” and “Animal Farm”. Perhaps you should learn a little history before spouting your ridiculous socialist nonsense.

    • David Spence

      • November 28th, 2017 18:32

      Yes Ian, I am familiar with George Orwell’s 1984, and I am making the parody of what the UK will become within the next few years once Brex*hit gets in full swing.

      It will be a society totally submissive to corporate entities with the Government having their hands deep into the pockets of such companies……….and vice-versa. The commercial interests of the few will dictate Government policy, and the people will be nothing more than consumers and not citizens.

      Your rights as a worker/citizen will be crushed in favour of the greater needs of the corporate world and the law will become more totalitarian via the government controlled media singing the song the government composes (war of terror a good example) in order to please those who buy their freedoms to do as they please upon the people, and to keep the rest of us in check.

      Dumb down the people with puerile entertainment, laws, rules and regulations as a means of designing consent to the master plan of complete control of consumerism. The rigged EU referendum playing its part.

      Apart from this Ian, everything is alright on the western front. lol

  • Haydn Gear

    • November 28th, 2017 21:25

    All animals are equal but some are more equal than others. Says it all really Ian whether one is an animal or a Shetlander !! I feel sure that you’ll agree to this.


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