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Trade union Unite is balloting around 140 maintenance and repair contractors who work for Kaefer at the vast plant. It said the dispute centres on the contractor making no formal cost of living offer this year. It said it had been “left with no option” but to launch the ballot – and blamed the operator Shell for the stand-off. The ballot will open on Monday, October 16 and close on November 13..
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “These workers help make Shell’s bonanza profits – they need and deserve a cost of living payment, yet they are being offered nothing. Unite will back our Kaefer members all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”
Contractors include scaffold inspectors and supervisors, riggers and rigging supervisors, forklift drivers, general assistants and mechanical supervisors. Unite said without them, the plant “would be severely impacted and could not be operated safely.”
Bob MacGregor, Unite industrial officer, added: “Kaefer and Shell are treating our members with contempt and Unite will not let this situation go unchallenged.
“Unite’s members are rightly angry that they work in a plant owned by Shell who are raking in billions while Kaefer makes no offer at all to address the cost of living pressures our members face. Our members are fully prepared to take Kaefer and Shell head-on to get the cost of living payment that they deserve and which reflects their hard work.”
A Shell spokesperson said: “We support constructive dialogue between the unions and contracting companies to reach a mutually agreed resolution”
The company said it did not anticipate any production impact.