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Stanlow Refinery Workers Ready to Fight Shell

Ed O’Keeffe Photography

On 18 August, The Sunday Times published an article: “Essar bids for British oil refinery in Shell auction“. It revealed that “Essar, the Indian energy, steel and shipping group, has made a bid for Royal Dutch Shell’s Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port…”

The unionised group at the refinery held a general meeting last night regarding the plan, under the Voser restructuring process, to sell the refinery (and its workers) to the highest bidder. A related self-explanatory leaked email is published below.

A unanimous decision was taken that in the event of a sale, the membership will fight to maintain all current terms and conditions, including pension entitlements, which Shell have insisted will not be transferred under the TUPE agreement to the prospective buyers. Potential bidders include a consortium led by the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

Union representatives met  this morning with Frank Willsdon, Stanlow General Manager, to convey the result of the general meeting and to ask that he makes the Stanlow sales team aware of this development, so that interested parties are fully aware of the developing situation.


—–Original Message—–
From:     Wood, Ron P SUKOP-OMP/11/06
Sent:    09 September 2009 21:48
Subject:    General Meeting Result

At the General Meeting held tonight Alan Rowlands gave a report back on our recent visit this week to meet with our Ineos, Grangemouth colleagues. The advice and information we have received from them has been invaluable in preparing us for the forthcoming negotiations we will be having.

Following a lengthy debate the following resolution was made.

“We the members of the collective bargaining agreement are resolved that in the event of any sale of Stanlow by Shell to a third party we will fight all proposed changes on any issue, especially our pensions entitlements, that would in any way be detrimental to our members.”

This was accepted, without abstention, by all in attendance.


Ron Wood
Branch Secretary NW/428 UnitetheUnion

Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, PO Box 3, Ellesmere Port, South Wirral CH65 4HB, United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)151 350 4500
Email: [email protected]
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