Battling canteen staff at the Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire have achieved an inflation-beating pay rise of three per cent.
Unite, which represents the 20 canteen staff employed by Baxterstorey, hailed the deal today (September 21) as a victory for ‘the courageous stand’ that the women had made.
The union said that the pay award of three per cent, backdated to July 1 this year, was inflation-beating, given that the current consumer price index (CPI) is running at 2.9 per cent.
“I am pleased to confirm that following talks under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, Baxterstorey has now offered an increase of three per cent which has been unanimously accepted by our members,” said Unite regional secretary for the south east Jennie Formby.
“Their dispute has now ended and all further industrial action has been withdrawn.
“I would like to pay tribute to the courageous stand that the canteen staff made in their bid for a fair pay settlement,” she added. “I would also like to thank the other employees at the oil refinery and the public generally for the fantastic support they gave to the women, which was vital in maintaining their morale.
“The message that Unite sends out to employers in the Solent area is that we will campaign strongly for the low-paid to receive decent wages for the work they do, especially as inflation is rising.”
The canteen workers had turned down a two per cent offer, which the union said was ‘too little, too late’. Before the dispute started they were receiving wages on or just above the national minimum wage of £7.50 an hour. Staff had previously taken four days of strike action.
Fawley has about 1,200 workers on site using the food ‘hubs’ and vending machines 24 hours-a-day at the ExxonMobil site, the largest refinery in the UK.