Battling canteen staff at oil giant hail pay victory

Battling canteen staff at oil giant hail pay victory

21 September 2017

Battling canteen staff at the Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire have achieved an inflation-beating pay rise of three per cent.

Unite, the country’s largest union which represents the 20 canteen staff employed by Baxterstorey, hailed the deal today (Thursday 21 September) as a victory for ‘the courageous stand’ that the women had made,

The union said that the pay award of three per cent, backdated to 1 July this year, was inflation-beating, given that the current consumer price index (CPI) is running at 2.9 per cent.

Unite regional secretary for the south east Jennie Formby said: “I am pleased to confirm that following talks under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, Baxterstorey has now offered an increase of three per cent which has been unanimously accepted by our members. 

“Their dispute has now ended and all further industrial action has been withdrawn.

“I would like to pay tribute to the courageous stand that the canteen staff made in their bid for a fair pay settlement. I would also like to thank the other employees at the oil refinery and the public generally for the fantastic support they gave to the women, which was vital in maintaining their morale. 

“The message that Unite sends out to employers in the Solent area is that we will campaign strongly for the low-paid to receive decent wages for the work they do, especially as inflation is rising.”

The canteen workers had turned down a two per cent offer, which the union said was ‘too little, too late’. Before the dispute started they were receiving  wages on or just above the national minimum wage of £7.50 an hour. Staff had previously taken four days of strike action.

Fawley has about 1,200 workers on site using the food ‘hubs’ and vending machines 24 hours-a-day at the ExxonMobil site, the largest refinery in the UK.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.