Refinery facing disruption as workers balloted over pay

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Workers based at ExxonMobil’s ethylene plant in Mossmorran, Scotland are set to take part in an industrial action ballot which could threaten production.

Around 200 Unite members are employed on construction engineering maintenance contracts. The workforce is split between Altrad, Bilfinger, and Kaefer.

The ballot which open yesterday (14 November) and closes on 28 November is a dispute over the level of bonus payments under the NAECI (National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry) agreement which covers the workers.

The contractors are seeking to secure the maximum bonus of £2.37 an hour under the terms of the NAECI agreement to offset rampant inflation rate which now stands at 12.6 per cent (RPI). The employers, however, have to date refused to pay the bonus.

Record profits

In October, US oil giant ExxonMobil released its third quarter result showing record earnings of nearly £17.3bn ($20bn).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Energy companies like ExxonMobil are making record profits of hundreds of billions, yet there is apparently no money available for hard-pressed workers, who are essential to the Mossmorran plant operations.”

Unite’s members are determined to fight for what they deserve especially when and they we see major corporations fanning the flames of rampant profiteering. Our workers will be receiving Unite’s unflinching support.”

Disruption expected

Due to the nature of the work undertaken by the construction workers any industrial action will result in disruption and delays to the operations at Mossmorran.

Bob MacGregor, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite’s members working for Altrad, Bilfinger, and Kaefer at the Mossmorran plant are angry at being denied what they are owed and deserve under the terms of the NAECI agreement. Any strike action will be entirely of the employers’ own making due to their penny-pinching. They have had every chance to resolve this dispute through negotiation but have chosen not to do so.”

Last month, Unite members contracted by Kaefer based at Shell’s Mossmorran plant resolved a separate dispute over pay.

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