Second strike at Fawley oil refinery over ‘half pay’ f...

Second strike at Fawley oil refinery over ‘half pay’ for foreign workers

26 July 2016

Workers at the Fawley oil refinery will stage a second 24 hour strike tomorrow (Wednesday 27 July) in the dispute that sees foreign workers being paid half that of UK workers at the Southampton site.

About 20 specialist workers, employed by Italian company Nico Industrial Services Ltd, will strike from 00.01 tomorrow at the Esso refinery, after talks broke down.

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

British workers employed by Nico are also paid the £125-a-day rate. The effect of the strike will be to slow up the site’s refining process as the specialist striking workers clean out the catalyst converter tanks.

Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: “We have held talks with the management, but the bosses have dug their heels in, hence the second strike tomorrow.

“It is completely unacceptable that foreign workers are being paid half that of British workers, who are either working for Nico or for other contractors across the site.

“We are not going to stand by and allow this blatant exploitation to continue with a management hell-bent on a race to the bottom when it comes to wages.

“This dispute is about trade union recognition so that our members working for Nico receive equality of pay and terms and conditions. This is a dispute about basic fairness in the workplace.

“Unless the management comes to the table with genuine proposals to eradicate this pay inequality, further industrial action is very much on the cards.”


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.