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Strike Vote In Shetland Gas Site

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

GMB Members Overwhelming Majority For Strike Action At Shetland Gas Construction Site In Dispute Over Accommodation And Travelling Time

Unions will seek urgent talks with the main contractor to impress the need to put forward an offer to resolve this long running dispute says GMB Scotland.

An overwhelming majority of GMB members employed on a new gas plant project in Shetland have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a long running dispute over accommodation and travel time. Unite members have also returned an overwhelming majority for action.

The official ballot covered GMB members employed by Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited (BBESL).

The dispute concerns a claim for an additional £50 per day to compensate for the failure to provide suitable accommodation for members and an additional claim for payment for lengthy traveling time undertaken each day. Some other workers employed by other contractors on site are also involved in the same dispute and they will also be balloted for strike action.

These members are employed constructing a new facility to process the gas and liquid hydrocarbon reserves on a site located to the east of the established Sullom Voe oil terminal on Shetland.  Work started in early 2010.The plant will be connected to the Laggan-Tormore offshore subsea production system. The gas plant is planned to be on stream by mid 2014 and will be operated by Total.

The engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning contract for the plant itself was awarded to Petrofac Offshore Engineering & Operations unit in October 2010. Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited (BBESL) are one the engineering construction subcontractors.

Harry Donaldson, Secretary GMB Scotland, said “GMB will seek urgent talks with the main contractor to convey to them the ballot results and impress on management to need to seriously address the long running issues involved in this dispute.

The employers need to sit up and take notice of this overwhelming vote and put forward an offer to resolve this long running dispute.

Petrofac have buried their heads in the sand for too long on important issues on this p roject. They have tried to bully and ride roughshod over standard industrial relations practices throughout.  Even now before this escalates further, TOTAL the client,  must stop Petrofac digging themselves into an even deeper hole than the intransigent one they are already in."


Contact: Brian Negus 07921 8857 86 or Harry Donaldson 07885 456726 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

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