Sullom Voe Terminal tug and towage workers to be balloted on strike action

SourceEnergy Voice

Dozens of workers at a crucial oil processing hub in Shetland will be asked whether they back industrial action as part of an ongoing dispute with the local authority. Unite plans to ballot around 30 tug and towage workers at Sullom Voe Terminal who they claim are being denied a “service award” after transferring to Shetland Islands Council (SIC) in 2006. The union said it fully expects its members to support striking, adding that it would lead to a “significant shock” to oil processing on the island. The ballot is due to open on April 13 and wil run for a fortnight, closing on April 27. If support for industrial action is successful, strike action is expected to take place at Sullom Voe, which is operated by EnQuest, in the middle of May. In a previous consultative ballot of union members held in February, on a turnout of 81% almost all workers (97%) indicated they would support taking industrial action. According to Unite, tug and towage staff have been told by SIC that instead of receiving the long service award for 25 years’ service, which is the norm for other council workers and is the equivalent of one month’s salary, they will receive a flat rate more...