Canteen workers employed by Baxterstorey at the Esso Fawley Refinery near Southampton struck over pay on Friday of last week.
The 17 workers, mainly women, are members of the Unite union. They are determined to improve a 1.5 percent pay offer from the employer.
Baxterstorey, which provides catering services for industries, says that the Fawley canteen workers are the highest paid workers in the group.
The workers say they are not interested in an equality of poverty.
They are the only workplace which has a recognition agreement with the company which explains why pay elsewhere is so low.
Workers also asked for more holidays but were told that they already have more than other canteen workers in the group.
This shows how necessary union membership is.
This is the first stoppage in their history and they were set to strike again on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week.
The company is bringing in scab workers from other areas to cover the strikers’ work.
The response from other workers on the Fawley site to the pickets was very positive. Drivers took leaflets, hooted and waved support as they went in.
The Baxterstorey strikers would win quickest with solidarity action from other other Esso employees and contractors.
Last year, Esso workers at Fawley won equal pay for some Italian contract workers by threatening a strike.
Until the late 1980s the Fawley Agreement meant that any worker on the site, permanent or temporary, employed by any company, was entitled to the equivalent of the Esso employees’ pay. Time for history to repeat itself.