Friday 24 May 2024
 11.5°C   NNE Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Council / Talks continuing after union postpones tug worker industrial action

Sullom Voe harbour tugs at work. Photo: John Bateson

INDUSTRIAL action from Shetland Islands Council (SIC) tug workers in a dispute over long service awards has been postponed after the Unite union received “commitments” from the local authority.

The action from Sella Ness tug workers to begin a continuous overtime ban had been due to start yesterday (17 May).

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “It was agreed late on Friday, to postpone the industrial action due to start on Monday 17 May, after certain commitments were received from Shetland Islands Council.

“Talks will continue this week.”

Around 40 towage workers were due to participate in the industrial action, which could have resulted in significant impact on oil processing and supplies at Sullom Voe harbour.

Towage workers at the port say they are being denied the SIC’s standard one month’s salary as a reward for 25 years of service.

The council previously said the towage workers’ terms and conditions are protected under TUPE and can’t be “unpicked” without harmonising all the towage workers’ terms and conditions with those of other council employees.

The towage operation became part of the council in 2006 when staff contracts with their previous employer, Shetland Towage, were transferred under TUPE.

The Unite union had warned that the industrial action could escalate to a strike if there was minimal progress in resolving the dispute.

Shetland Islands Council’s infrastructure director John Smith said: “We can confirm that positive discussions are ongoing into resolving the current dispute, and services at the port of Sullom Voe are operating normally.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.