Workers in Ellesmere Port have backed strike action in a dispute over what are claimed to be ‘inferior pay and conditions’.
Unite says its members at Suttons Tankers have voted 100% for strike action on a 97% turnout. They are protesting over proposals to sack staff unless they sign ‘an inferior contract’ by Friday, January 19.
The company plans to dismiss more than 30 workers, including all tanker drivers and fitters, at the ERL refinery on North Road and at Thomas Hardie Commercials on Bridges Road and re-engage them in February on inferior contracts of employment, Unite claims.
Unite is urging Suttons Tankers’ management team to take the proposals off the table and enter meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute and avert strike action. It says continuous action will begin at one minute past midnight next Friday and a picket will be in place at the refinery and at Bridges Road.
Unite regional officer Colin Carr said: “Suttons Tankers’ management has attempted to smoke screen these proposals in both a sham consultation and under the guise of redundancies. Our members have been given an ultimatum: accept our proposals before Friday, January 19 or face losing your job.
“Strike action is always a measure of last resort but our members have had enough. They are determined to fight this attack on their terms and conditions which slash our members’ conditions and pay rates. Unite has remained committed to resolving this dispute and we will continue to hold talks up to and beyond any strike action.
“We urge the management to take these proposals off the table and enter into meaningful talks in order to find a way forward and avert strike action.”
Suttons Tankers have been approached for comment.