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The Gap Partnership

Union bargaining required at Shetland port

Europe's largest oil exporting port may face strike action.

12 August 2011

Coastguard tug boat crews are considering industrial action after Shetland Islands Council proposed radical changes to their working patterns.

Reduced crew sizes and new shift patterns are just some of the overhauls that have been put forward for Sullom Voe port, STV reports.

Strike negotiations may now be required to prevent demonstrations as Unite - which is the biggest body of its kind in the UK - has balloted its members about the next course of action.

John Taylor, regional organiser of the union, noted Europe's largest oil exporting port may have to close down temporarily if a resolution cannot be reached.

"This is extremely serious. Our members have intimated to us that they will take industrial action," Mr Taylor observed.

He continued by saying employees were not making an "idle threat" as they are unhappy at the "unacceptable" terms they have been offered.

Union bargaining may be able to find enough common ground to prevent a walkout.

Posted by David Gleck
 

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