11/06/2008

Unite Urges Oil Giant To "Stop Sitting On Its Hands"

Unite the union has urged oil giants Shell to stop sitting on its hands and act to avert the four day strike by tanker drivers set to begin this Friday, 13 June.

Unite Assistant General Secretary Len McCluskey said: "Only Shell sets the terms of this contract and only it can solve this dispute. This is one of the most profitable companies on earth and it now needs to provide the financial flexibility to avert this dispute.

"It is no use Shell bosses, who have themselves enjoyed 15% plus pay increases in the last year, sitting on their hands. They have 72 hours to start focusing on avoiding the disruption this will cause to the general public who are already mindful of the staggering profits Shell rakes in.

"Shell tanker drivers are earning exactly the same today as they were fifteen years ago while working for a company that makes £1.3 billion every month, profits our members' hard work helps deliver. So Unite is saying to Shell bosses, stop hiding behind your sub-contractor and help us sort out a solution.

"This dispute could be settled for less than £1 million, an amount that would not put even the slightest dent in Shell profits."

The union is holding talks with Shell's contractor at ACAS this week in a bid to reach a settlement.

Unite says that Shell tanker drivers today earn a basic wage of just under £32,000 per year for a 48-hour working week. In 1992, a typical tanker driver directly employed by Shell earned approximately £32,000 per year for a 37-hour week. Shell's board members typically received a 16 percent increase in their pay packets last year.

(CD/JM)

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