Strikes averted at energy sites after 17% pay rise

Thousands of construction workers at energy sites have called off strike action after accepting a pay rise of more than 17 per cent over two years.

3,000 engineering construction workers at Sellafield nuclear facility and Stanlow, Fawley, Valero, Grangemouth and Mossmorran oil refineries were due to walk out in a dispute over pay.

They will now receive a 11.3 per cent pay rise from January 2024 and at least 5.5 per cent from January 2025, which is a compound increase of 17.4 per cent.

Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, national officer of the GMB union, said: “These skilled workers have fought for the pay rise they so richly deserve.

“After watching their pay erode due to rampant inflation, they stood together and forced this whopping deal. They should be rightly proud of themselves.”

The workers are members of the National Agreement for Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), a joint initiative between trade unions and trade bodies that sets employment terms for hourly-paid engineering construction workers on major projects.

The deal also included improvements to sickness and accident benefits, the London overnight supplement and the introduction of a £1 an hour London rate enhancement, along with pension, productivity and apprenticeship reviews.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This outstanding deal was achieved because our members knew the NAECI employers could not ignore their demands if they acted collectively.

“Across the construction industry and beyond, Unite’s unrelenting focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions is winning for our members.”

Workers first voted for strike action in October, rejecting a pay rise of 8.5 per cent in 2024 and 3.5 per cent in 2025.

In November, they turned down a pay deal of 10 per cent for 2024 and 5 per cent for 2025.

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