A CHEMICAL plant is facing disruption as staff are set to take part in an industrial action ballot over pay.

Members of Unite based at ExxonMobil’s Mossmorran site in Fife are being balloted in a dispute over bonus payments.

The row revolves around the rate of bonus payments under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) agreement which covers the workers.

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The staff are employed by numerous contractors who work on the site and are seeking to secure the maximum bonus of £2.37 on hourly rates, as stated in the NAECI agreement, to offset the impact of inflation.

However, the union says employers, engineering firms Altrad, Bilfinger and Kaefer, are refusing to pay up.

Around 200 members of staff who work at Mossmorran are employed on construction engineering maintenance contracts.

In October, US oil giant ExxonMobil released its third quarter results showing record earnings of nearly £17.3 billion ($20bn).

The National: Sharon Graham said the union's members are ready to fight for paySharon Graham said the union's members are ready to fight for pay

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Energy companies like ExxonMobil are making record profits of hundreds of billions, yet there is apparently no money available for hard-pressed workers, who are essential to the Mossmorran plant operations.

“Unite’s members are determined to fight for what they deserve especially when we see major corporations fanning the flames of rampant profiteering.

"Our workers will be receiving Unite’s unflinching support.”

The union say that due to the work undertaken by the staff members, any industrial action will cause significant disruption, while ExxonMobile deny this is the case.

Bob MacGregor, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite’s members working for Altrad, Bilfinger, and Kaefer at the Mossmorran plant are angry at being denied what they are owed and deserve under the terms of the NAECI agreement.

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“Any strike action will be entirely of the employers’ own making due to their penny-pinching.

“They have had every chance to resolve this dispute through negotiation but have chosen not to do so.”

Last month, Unite members contracted by Kaefer based at Shell’s Mossmorran plant resolved a separate dispute over pay.

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil said: “This matter involves staff employed by contracting companies onsite, and relates to ongoing discussions over an incentive payment as part of nationally-agreed terms and conditions.

“We encourage union representatives to continue to work with employers to reach a resolution.

“We have a flexible workforce at Fife and have resource plans to cover a range of scenarios.

“We do not anticipate any impact on operations should action occur.”

The Mossmorran site has been criticised in the past by local residents over their concerns regarding the health and environmental impacts of the site, in particular the levels of pollution.

Earlier this year a report confirmed that those fears were well-founded.