Mossmorran strike: contract workers’ week of action over cost of living payment

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Contract workers at Mossmorran have voted overwhelmingly in support of strike action in a dispute over a cost of living payment not being made.

The members of Unite union who work for Kaefer at the plant are set to take week-long strike action from Monday, November 27. The action was supported by 75 per cent in a ballot. A continuous overtime ban will also be in effect for 12 weeks commencing with the start of the strike.

Unite said the dispute centres on the employer not making a cost of living payment for 2023. It said its membership has been left with “no option” but to take action, and blamed operator, Shell, for the stand-off.

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Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Shell is awash with money and is experiencing a multi-billion pound profit bonanza - funding a cost of living increase for our members would not even scratch the surface of its profits.“

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

Kaefer contractors include scaffold inspectors and supervisors, riggers and rigging supervisors, forklift drivers, general assistants and mechanical supervisors. Without these essential workers production at the Mossmorran NGL plant and St Fergus gas plant would be severely impacted, and could not be operated safely. Shell previously said it did not anticipate any production impact.

The workers are covered by the National Agreement for Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). Other workers secured a supplementary cost of living payment of an extra £1 for every hour worked between January and the end of June 2023. After that date, the supplementary payment became 75 pence an hour. The payment was made following a NAECI pay increase of just 2.5 per cent for 2023. Mossmorran and St Fergus Kaefer contractors did not receive the supplementary cost of living payment.

Bob MacGregor, Unite industrial officer, added: “The Kaefer contractors based at Mossmorran and St Fergus deserve a fair pay rise particularly as Shell, who own the plants, are amassing billions in profit.”

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