Vivergo Call on Unions To End BP Saltend Protests

26 Apr 2011

Vivergo, the company at the centre of the Saltend dispute is calling on workers to take part in a secret ballot to end the protests.
Almost 400 workers lost their jobs when Vivergo Fuels terminated its contract with pipe contractor Redhall Engineering Services Ltd (RESL) in March, sparking ongoing protests at the site. A total of 384 employees are believed to have accepted a £1.2million settlement from RESL to cover unpaid wages, but union leaders have rejected an additional cash offer from Vivergo, stating the dispute “was about jobs and not money.”

Now, Vivergo is urging union leaders to hold a secret ballot to establish how many members wish to accept the offer. The company says it is “at a loss to understand what more it could do to solve the deadlock.” In a letter leaked to the Mail, it urges unions to “retable the settlement offer to the workforce via a secret ballot.”

Les Dobbs, GMB senior organiser, said: “I understand Vivergo has sent us a letter but I’ve not yet received anything. I met with more than 200 of our members on Tuesday last to present Vivergo’s offer to them. They made it clear, via a show of hands, that they do not want financial settlement; they are absolutely adamant that this is about jobs. There will be a constant vigil at Saltend from Tuesday and we will be taking members to other UK sites as well.”

Meanwhile, the GMB union is preparing to launch a legal challenge against Humberside Police for what it claims has been an “unreasonable use” of the Public Order Act. Earlier this month, two men were arrested for public order offences following a clampdown by police.

Mr Dobbs added: “The GMB is looking to launch a legal challenge against the police for what they believe is an unreasonable use of section 14 of the Public Order Act.”

Source; Hull Advertiser 25/4/11