Fawley picket line Fawley picket line. Photo: Julie Hope

Outsourced workers at Fawley refinery in Southampton began strike action on Friday in response to a real-terms pay cut, reports Julie Hope from the picket line

Strikers and Unite the union supporters were out in numbers at the Exxon Mobil/Esso Refinery at Fawley on the South Coast, on Friday morning. The Exxon Mobil facility is the largest oil refinery in the UK and provides oil to one sixth of petrol stations and all airports in the UK. Following balloting of their members last month, the contractors servicing the refinery – Trant Engineering, Veolia Services and Altrad Services – want the same pay increase and sick pay as other workers employed by the corporation. These contractors are being offered a measly 2.5% for two years, whilst inflation is currently at 8.2%!

Exxon have made huge sums in profits from higher energy prices, including £6.25 billion, in 2021. The contractors worked above and beyond what was expected of them during the pandemic. Their work is safety and economically critical, and Exxon relies on them to provide the safe disposal of waste such as hydrocarbons and sewage and carry out emergency work.

Further strike action is planned for 25 April and 6 May. Please get down and show your support if you can.

Photo: Julie Hope
Photo: Julie Hope

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