Mossmorran: engineering workers set for strike action after rejecting pay offer

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Engineering construction workers at Exxon Mobil’s Mossmorran plant have voted for strike action over pay as part of a national dispute.

The Unite union members work for Altrad, and they have workers rejected a two year pay offer of 10 per cent for 2024 and five per cent for 2025. The union said the offer did not go far enough to restore years of falling wages for engineering construction workers.

Strike action will be conducted in conjunction with other workers who operate under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) at oil refineries, power stations and pharmaceutical and petro-chemical plants across the nation. Workers at Drax, Sellafield, Stanlow, Pembroke, Grangemouth, Teesside Sabic TIP and Runcorn Project Summer Vynova have also voted for strike action. Unite is also balloting more at other sites across the country to join any industrial action.

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The workers carry out essential repair and maintenance at the site, and Unite said strike action would cause significant disruption.

ExxonMobil Chemical plant at Mossmorran (Pic: TSPL)ExxonMobil Chemical plant at Mossmorran (Pic: TSPL)
ExxonMobil Chemical plant at Mossmorran (Pic: TSPL)

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary said: “NAECI workers have seen their pay fall further and further behind in real terms as a result of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. Meanwhile, most NAECI employers have benefited from huge profits generated from rocketing energy and fuel prices. NAECI contractors and clients, including Altrad and Exxon Mobile, can fully afford to put forward a better offer. This is what must happen.”

Unite said that since the pandemic, pay for engineering construction workers has fallen in real terms. During Covid, a pay freeze was imposed on workers even though they provided essential services throughout the crisis. In January 2022, they received a two year pay deal of 2.5 per cent for 2022 and the same percentage increase for 2023.

Jason Poulter, Unite national officer said: “There is a limited window of opportunity for NAECI contractors and clients to avoid widespread industrial unrest. They have the money to ensure that our members rates are restored to their previous value. Their latest offer was inadequate and was overwhelmingly rejected by our members. They need to get back into negotiations and work with us to find an acceptable offer.”

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