More than 270 workers at the Sabic chemical plants on Teesside this week started voting in a ballot for industrial action after rejecting the company’s ‘insulting’ two per cent pay rise for 2022, Unite the union said today (Thursday 24 February).

Production technicians, managers and engineers at Sabic Teesside North Tees and Sabic Wilton International are voting on whether to take strike action or industrial action short of strike action after overwhelmingly rejecting the highly profitable company’s pay offer. The ballot closes on Tuesday 8 March.

Unite warned that should industrial action occur in the spring, the UK’s ethylene distribution between Sabic and Ineos Grangemouth would be disrupted as these two companies produce the vast majority of ethylene in the UK and a pipeline connects the two sites. (Ethylene is a key component in a number of industries, such as rubber and plastics as well as being used as a refrigerant).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Here is another example of a highly profitable company making an insulting pay offer to our members.  With the RPI rate of inflation galloping ahead to 7.8 per cent, two per cent is a pay cut and utterly unacceptable.

“Unite fully supports our members at Sabic in their battle for a real pay increase.  We will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards as the cost of living crisis threatens the budgets of millions of working people in the months ahead.”

Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: “Any industrial action will disrupt UK ethylene distribution and hit manufacturing processes in a number of sectors. We urge the bosses to come back to the negotiating table with a realistic pay offer.”


Notes to editors:

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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.