Workers at U.K.oil refineries and power stations rejected a pay offer

Monday, 05 October 2009
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Workers at seven U.K. oil refineries and power stations, including the Sellafield nuclear complex and a facility on BP Plc’s Forties pipeline, rejected a pay offer and are seeking to reopen talks with employers, says Bloomberg.com. 

The majority of union members polled voted against the proposal, the GMB and Unite labor unions said in e-mailed statements today. The measure included a pay increase and the creation of a national register of unemployed workers, which would be used to fill vacancies.

“The members want more progress on the skills and unemployment registers” as well as a better pay agreement, GMB National Secretary Phil Davies said in the statement. Union leaders will now ask the Engineering Construction Industry Association, an industry group, if they will consider further talks, Davies said.

A majority of the GMB’s union members voted in favor of industrial action in September. If the industry group refuses to re-open discussions, the union will have to go back to members to see if they still want to strike, as the original ballot expires after 28 days.

Other sites at risk from labor action include Ineos Group Holdings Plc’s refinery at Grangemouth, Scotland, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s refinery at Stanlow, northwest England, two RWE AG power stations in England and Wales and Chevron Corp.’s refinery at Pembroke, South Wales.

Protests over foreign contract labor at Total SA’s refinery at Lindsey sparked sympathy protests at other energy sites across the U.K. earlier this year. The Lindsey strike, which began after Total contractors fired 51 workers, added about 100 million euros ($142.7 million) to the cost of a sulfur removal project, Paris-based Total said in June.

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