West Dunbartonshire Council has joined Martin Docherty-Hughes MP in pledging to support Nustar workers engaged in an industrial dispute with their employer.
At a meeting of the Council on Wednesday 30 August, councillors heard a deputation from Nustar staff based at the firm’s terminal in Clydebank.
The group, supported by union Unite, outlined their fight against their employers attempt to impose shift changes on the workforce. Unite said NuStar has refused to engage in dialogue over working terms and despite repeated requests by the union and the offer of conciliation services by ACAS.
Councillors unanimously agreed a motion outlining their support for staff and Unite’s attempts to negotiate on behalf of members.
The motion read: “West Dunbartonshire Council offers to stand in solidarity with the workers involved in this industrial dispute and offers to help the Nustar workers in any way we can in their attempts to fight against the imposition of the unfair and new working conditions.”
The move has been welcomed by Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, who has been assisting staff and Unite representatives in their efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“I’ve been working to support staff at the NuStar fuel terminal who have been forced into industrial action over claims of intimidation and concerns about working arrangements at the site.
“Having met with NuStar workers and union representatives, I will be contacting company management at NuStar to press the need for constructive dialogue in order to resolve this dispute fairly and without further delay.”
Council Leader Jonathan McColl said:
“I am pleased that this motion received cross party support. The NuStar terminal in Dock Street employees dozens of staff from across our Council area and beyond. As a Council we are united behind the staff at Nustar and will do everything we can to help them.
“I had a fruitful meeting with our MP and Stephen Deans from Unite the Union and I have agreed to work with them to further the case of these employees against an employer who does not recognise trade unions and has been unwilling to even discuss the changes with their employees, despite an offer from ACAS to mediate.”
Unite Regional Officer Stephen Deans said:
“Unite welcomes the support of Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, Council Leader Jonathan McColl and West Dunbartonshire council for our members in dispute at NuStar Terminal Clydebank. Unite has repeatedly tried to engage with NuStar management over the imposition of working arrangements at Rothesay dock. The intransigence and the refusal of the company to engage with Unite and our members to resolve this dispute is unprecedented.
“Instead of engaging positively with us to avoid strike action they have placed our members under investigation under spurious charges which serves to show the intimidating and bullying culture that exists.
“I do however welcome the message yesterday from NuStar that they are at last prepared to engage with Unite through the services of ACAS to resolve this dispute and arrangements are being made to make this happen quickly. I hope that this change in approach by NuStar is an indication of their willingness to engage in a positive and productive manner to start to address the issues under dispute and the ongoing concerns and grievances of our members.”