Socialist Worker

Barrow gas terminal workers battle for national agreement

Issue No. 2167

Workers at a Barrow gas terminal are continuing an all-out strike to demand a pay increase.

Some 21 workers employed by subcontractor RBG at the Centrica terminal began industrial action two weeks ago after rejecting a 3 percent pay offer.

Workers want a 5.5 percent increase.

On Monday of last week the workers briefly suspended the strike, returning to work for talks. After talks broke down, RBG bosses withdrew the original three percent offer.

Dedicated

John Fallows, a regional official for the Unite union, said, “It is only because these workers are a local, small and dedicated workforce that the company believe they don’t have to pay them higher rates of pay.”

Workers are paid £10.01 an hour. The difference between a 3 percent increase and a 5.5 percent increase is an extra 16p an hour.

In 2007 RBG made an agreement with the workers to align wages with those recommended by NAECI, the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry.

John Fallows said, “The workers want RBG to honour their commitment that they would align the RBG workers’ pay with the Blue Book and NAECI guidelines.”


The result of a ballot of more than 2,000 engineering construction workers in the Unite and GMB unions at seven petrochemical plants and power stations was due as Socialist Worker went to press.

The ballot is over the terms of the NAECI national agreement covering pay and conditions in construction.

The seven sites are Ineos’s Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland, Shell’s Stanlow refinery in Cheshire, BP’s North Sea oil processing terminal at Grangemouth, Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, RWE’s power stations at Staythorpe in Nottinghamshire, Aberthaw in South Wales, and Chevron’s refinery in Pembroke.


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News
Tue 1 Sep 2009, 19:16 BST
Issue No. 2167
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