‘Pay parity’ victory at Fawley oil refinery over ‘half...

‘Pay parity’ victory at Fawley oil refinery over ‘half pay’ for foreign workers

27 July 2016

Workers at the Fawley oil refinery have won a ‘pay parity’ victory in the dispute that saw foreign workers being paid half that of UK workers at the Southampton site. 

As a result, a second 24-hour strike by about 20 specialist workers, employed by Italian company Nico Industrial Services Ltd, due to have started from 00.01 this morning (Wednesday) at the Esso refinery, was called off.

Unite, the country’s largest union, said that the dispute had centred on the fact that Nico workers, mainly Bulgarians and Italians, were being paid about £48 for a 10 hour-day, while the 270 other workers on the site, employed by other contractors, were on about £125-a-day. British workers employed by Nico were also paid the £125-a-day rate.

Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: "We are pleased to announce that after talks with the company yesterday (Tuesday) a new ‘pay parity’ deal at the Fawley oil refinery has been agreed. All the workers at Nico will now be paid the same rate for the job.

“The members have accepted the deal and, as a result, the 24 hour strike due to have started at 00.01 today (Wednesday) at the Esso refinery, has been called off, as has the overtime ban.

“The ‘pay parity’ deal is backdated to September last year. Unite will also be recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the employer.

“This is victory for fairness in the workplace and pay parity. A combination of the solidarity of our members, support from other workers on the Fawley site and the media attention on this dispute all contributed to breaking the logjam with management. 

“Unite now looks forward to working with the company in a constructive fashion in the future.”

The workers had previously staged a 24-hour strike earlier this month.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. 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.