Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has today (Thursday, 13 December) announced that maintenance workers at Shell Thornton Research Centre in Cheshire will take industrial strike action over the Christmas period against their scrooge employer - Eurest Support Services.
The maintenance workers are in dispute with Eurest Support Services – part of the worldwide Compass Group – following a breakdown in talks with the union after the company tried to renege on a pay deal agreed nearly two years ago. Workers have also expressed their concern about Shell leaving the site within the next year and urge their employer to delay any potential redundancies to ensure that staff will have the right to TUPE transfer.
The action by Unite members is to begin on Monday, 17 December from 7:00am until 9:00am outside the Shell Thornton Research Centre, Poole Lane, Ince, Chester CH2 4NU.
Unite national officer, Jennie Formby, said: “The blame for strike action rests solely at the door of the company, which has acted totally irresponsibly in reneging on a pay deal - agreed nearly two years ago. Our members are not in dispute with Shell, the site owners, but with their Scrooge-like employer - Eurest Support Services.”
Unite shop steward, Dave Thomas, said: “We believe the site has new undisclosed owners, and if Eurest shed the incumbent workforce prematurely, then this will deny workers their potential right to employment with the new owners.
“The total lack of communication with the workers affected is totally unacceptable – they feel they have been left in the dark all along regarding the future of the site.
“Workers feel their actions are fully justified, but after all the hard work by Shell to leave the site in a dignified way, it’s disappointing that their employer’s actions is going to leave a lasting memory on this once great site.
“We urge the company to re-open talks with Unite to avert strike action over the Christmas period.”
For further information please contact Unite communications officer, Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.