Fawley oil refinery scaffolders strike over pay

Credit: Unite South East / Twitter

Scaffolders and other workers at Fawley oil refinery have walked out on a two-week strike over poor pay.

Workers at the UK’s biggest oil refinery in Southampton had hoped for a last-minute deal to prevent industrial action.

Members of Unite and the GMB union that include scaffolders, welders, pipefitters, boilermakers and mechanical fitters working on the site are taking part in the strike.

The union said the refinery’s employers had not formally given an offer it could put to its members.

Bryan Hulley, GMB organiser said to the BBC that Altrad, Bilfinger and their client ExxonMobil were “solely responsible for this walkout”.

“Despite the promises that they will make an offer to our members, we are yet to get a formal offer on the table,” he continued.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson said: ”This action involves trade union members employed by contracting companies operating onsite. Operations at Fawley are unaffected and we do not anticipate any impact on fuel supplies to customers.”

The spokesperson for the oil and gas company added that “industrial action is not in anyone’s interest” and urged the trade unions and employers to work together to reach a resolution.

Bilfinger said in a statement it understood the company was one of a group of contractors with employees taking part in the industrial action. “We are working closely with our employees and the unions to resolve this as soon as possible.”

The union says it has also issued notice of a further two weeks of action to follow.