Employees at Sullom Voe Terminal have voted for industrial action by a significant margin.
Unite the union announced today that 94 per cent of its membership supported striking.
The industrial action is in response to changes to terms and conditions proposed by terminal operator EnQuest.
More than 97 per cent of Unite’s membership participated in the ballot with 99 per cent also supporting action short of a strike.
EnQuest announced in July that it planned to cut its workforce by a quarter. The company held a six-week consultation on the reduction of 60 full-time employees and 20 contractor positions.
The company also proposed the renegotiation of the existing terms and conditions of the workforce in order to be “commercially competitive”.
John Boland, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Unite’s membership at Sullom Voe have taken an emphatic stand against the brutal proposals by EnQuest to alter their terms and conditions including the pension scheme.
“The company has cut its workforce by a quarter heaping further pressure on the remaining workforce.
“We will announce a series of strike action dates imminently and the company should be in no doubt that our members will do everything to defend themselves and to oppose these unjustified attacks.”
EnQuest said it had been notified of the ballot result and were awaiting further details: “Although disappointed with the results, we fully respect the outcome of the ballot and will be seeking further immediate dialogue to resolve this dispute without the need for industrial action.
“It remains the Company’s preference that EnQuest and UNITE find a mutually acceptable resolution to this dispute, but we are focussed on readying our business continuity provisions to minimise any potential disruption to our operations at SVT.
“With safety as our first priority, EnQuest is using both external service providers and re-deploying experienced staff from other assets as well as working with our non-CIG staff at SVT to ensure we remain safe should industrial action take place.”