Veolia workers in strike vote
Veolia workers to ballot for strike over pay ‘cut’ at Stanlow
Members of Unite employed by waste company Veolia and working at the Stanlow refinery in Cheshire are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay.
Multinational giant Veolia is proposing a 3.5 per cent pay deal to the workforce. With the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at nine per cent, Unite says that this is a substantial pay cut.
The workers are responsible for maintaining and operating chemical and vacuum tanks at the refinery.
Ballot papers began to be sent out this week and voting will close on Tuesday 3 May. A vote in favour of industrial action would see strikes begin in May.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Veolia is an exceptionally wealthy company yet, at a time of spiralling living costs, Stanlow workers are expected to swallow a real terms pay cut. This is simply unacceptable.
“Veolia found billions to buy another company and can easily pay these workers fairly.
“Unite will be giving our members at Veolia the union’s total support until the company makes an acceptable offer to our members and this dispute is resolved.”
The dispute comes as Veolia renegotiates its contract with Essar, the company that operates the Stanlow site.
Veolia, which is based in France, is an extremely wealthy multinational company. It has recently announced a merger with fellow waste management company Suez at a cost of 13 billion euros which is subject to a competition inquiry in the UK.
Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard added, “Despite repeated attempts to resolve this dispute through negotiations Veolia has refused to make an offer which meets our members’ expectations. Therefore they have no option but to ballot for industrial action.”
By Barckley Sumner