Top 10 Scrooge bosses of the year - Fawley refinery contractors

UniteLive highlights this year's worst employers, including Fawley contractors Altrad, Bilfinger and Enerveo - and oil giant ExxonMobil

Reading time: 4 min

This year throughout the festive period, UniteLive will highlight our top ten worst bosses of the year – employers so miserly and mean that they’d put Scrooge himself to shame.

Today, we look at not one employer but four, who are all essentially working in concert at the Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire to ensure workers don’t get the pay they deserve.

Contractors Altrad, Bilfinger and Enerveo, which employ a 130-strong workforce at Fawley, are denying workers their demand of a bonus payment of £2.37 an hour, the maximum allowed under the relevant industrial agreement (National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry [NAECI]).

The workers, Unite members, have now gone on strike multiple times since November and throughout December over the bonus payment.  

The fourth Scrooge boss involved in this twisted tale of tight-fistedness is ExxonMobil, which ultimately employs the contracting companies.  As one of the biggest oil firms in the world, last month it recorded an astonishing quarterly profit of £17.3bn.

Commenting, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “ExxonMobil, which operates the Fawley site, is making eye-watering profits. Paying our members the bonus they are seeking will not make a single dent in its overflowing coffers. But instead of coming to the table, the employers at Fawley have been spreading untruths about our members.  This is yet another case of irresponsible employers acting on greed not need.”

The dispute took a sinister turn at the end of November, when workers were unable to stage a lawful picket due to the presence of approximately 60 police officers who prevented the pickets speaking to drivers of vehicles entering the site.

 The show of force by Hampshire Police increased following a letter sent to the union and the police force by Richard Bannister, a human resources business partner working for contractors at Fawley. The letter made a series of unfounded allegations about the conduct of the pickets.

The Scrooge bosses have also attempted to undermine the strike by employing agency workers on rates far above what the current workforce receives.

Graham went on to say that it is “seriously alarming to learn that Hampshire police have interfered in lawful, peaceful industrial action.  This is an abuse of their role and can only serve to deepen tensions in this dispute.

“Unite will not stand for company lies or interference by the police,” she added. “Our members at Fawley can rest assured that they will receive Unite’s 100 per cent support throughout this dispute.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Scrooge bosses.

By UniteLive team