Agreement Reached for Shetland Towage Workers

A 15-year long dispute with Shetland Islands Council (SIC) over a Long Service Award payments has been resolved.

Towage workers were previously not intitled to a long service award (equivalent of one month’s salary) when they fulfil 25 years’ service, unlike other council workers.

In April, the trade union Unite announced that towage workers at Sullum Voe had voted to take industrial action after a ballot return of 86.5%, with 87.1% in favour of action. Around 40 towage workers employed by SIC were set to begin an overtime ban over a seven-week period in July and August.

After intense negotiation it was agreed to move forward with the payment of the Long Service Award and to discuss future for the Towage operation.

John Clark, Unite Industrial Officer, said: 

“There was a huge sigh of relief from both sides when agreement was reached. It has been a long road resolving this issue, and now this has been put to bed both sides can move on to more positive discussions in the future. I’m sure that our members are pleased with the outcome and the effort put in by their representatives”

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