Workers building an £800million gas terminal in Shetland have voted to take strike action in a dispute over accommodation and pay.
The GMB union last night said almost 100 of its workers who were balloted voted in favour of a strike on Monday.
The dispute centres on workers staying in an 850-bed, purpose-built block near to a building site.
The union wants its members who have to share rooms to be paid an extra £50 per day.
Workers are also accommodated in four “flotels” moored offshore the site where the main contractor, Petrofac, is building the plant to the east of the Sullom Voe oil terminal.
It is thought that 200 members of Unite the union have also voted in favour of striking after 409 of its members were balloted.
There are currently 1,400 working on the site for a range of contractors.
The gas terminal, owned by French giant Total, is a key part of plans to unlock vast gas fields to the west of Shetland and will receive output from the oil and gas firm’s Laggan-Tormore field later this year.
Harry Donaldson, secretary of GMB Scotland, said: “GMB will seek urgent talks with the main contractor to convey to them the ballot results and impress on management the need to seriously address the long-running issues involved in this dispute.”
A spokesman for Petrofac said the firm was “surprised” that workers had voted to strike as the prospect of shared accommodation was agreed from the outset, adding that workers received a “a very attractive” salary package”.
He said: “Everyone who is provided with free shared living accommodation was made aware during recruitment and when offered the role that the accommodation provided was on a shared basis, and they signed a waiver agreeing to this at the beginning of their employment.
“However we have always aimed to maintain a constructive relationship with the unions – and we’ll be looking to meet quickly with them to see how we can move forward on this issue.”
Unite the union was unavailable for comment.