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Gas plant likely to continue operating despite strike

The first strike action is scheduled to take place later this month. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

SHETLAND Gas Plant operator Total has insisted that the safe running of the installation will not be compromised by strike action which is likely to take place later this month.

On Friday, trade union Unite served an industrial action notice on subcontractor Aker Solutions after workers rejected its latest offer in a long running dispute over wage and holiday pay.

The union said it would stage strikes every Monday and Wednesday from 20 November.

Aker employs around 80 of the 200-strong workforce at the terminal, which processes about 10 per cent of the UK’s gas demand.

Earlier this week Unite’s regional officer John Boland said that it would be difficult to safely operate the gas plant without the Aker employees.

He added that Unite members employed directly by Total at the plant would not step in to fill the gaps.

However, Total said on Friday it would be able to continue operate the gas plant.

“Safety is a core value for Total and we will not allow it to be compromised because of this strike,” a spokesman said.

“Despite this strike action Total will be able to continue to operate the Shetland Gas Plant safely. Total have identified measures that will ensure safe operations during the strike.”

A spokesman for Aker added: “Aker Solutions today received notification from Unite the Union of planned strikes at Shetland Gas Plant following the rejection of our increased pay offer.

“We are disappointed with the latest course of action, but remain committed to finding a positive resolution to the situation.”