16 October 2001 16:35 [Source: ICIS news]
Workers at the 60 000 tonne/year polyalphaolefins (PAO) plant and its related 3000-5000 tonne/year aluminium alkylates facility returned to work earlier today.The strike was sparked by the sacking of 10 operators (blue collar workers) at the LAO facility for gross misconduct, according to BP Chembel. Since then, a further two workers have been sacked for acts of violence, the company said.
Negotiations between BP Chembel and the Belgian trade union FGTB broke down last week. However, Karol Macek, a manager at BP Chembel, said: "Union representatives at the plants asked for a meeting, which took place this afternoon. The reps have declared that they have given instructions to workers to return to work tomorrow."
The closed LAO facility, where the sacked workers were positioned, supplies one grade of feedstock to the PAO plant, which is now being bought from a third party. However, Macek said the conflict has not yet impacted on customers as the company has adequate stocks in Antwerp.
Despite the return of the LAO plant operators on Wednesday, production at the site is not due to start until around 10 November as the facility is due to undergo scheduled maintenance work.
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