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Strike action planning suspended at Sullom Voe Terminal

Sullom Voe industrial action
Sullom Voe Terminal

Preparations for strike action at a key oil terminal in Shetland have been suspended after a new pay deal for workers was hammered out.

The Unite trade union said industrial action planning would be halted while it ballots members at the Sullom Voe Terminal on the new, improved offer.

The ballot closes on April 3.

Unite also said the coronavirus outbreak had played a part in its decision to defer strike action.

It said the decision was in the interests of the workforce and households reliant on production from the plant, which is operated by EnQuest.

Unite members had voted for strike action by 94% in early March in response to EnQuest’s alleged “attacks” on the terms and conditions of the workforce.

More than 97% of Unite’s membership participated in the ballot with 99% also supporting action short of a strike.

EnQuest said in July that it would cut around 80 jobs at the terminal. There were 250 workers there at the time of that announcement.

John Boland, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Unite’s membership at Sullom Voe have taken the decision to suspend industrial action, which was due to start next week, following a new offer from the company.

“There is a recommendation by the shop stewards to accept this offer but ultimately this is in the hands of the membership.

“However, our members are also acutely aware of the crisis facing the nation and they are prepared to suspend this action in order to play their part in this national effort.”

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