Workers at bp refinery will not help with restart unless wage demands met

(Reuters) - Workers at bp's Rotterdam refinery, which is currently offline, will not help restart operations unless their wage demands are met, union leaders said on Monday.

The company said on Saturday it expected to have the refinery back on line "early" this week after an unspecified technical problem.

Union leader Jaap Bosma of the CNV union identified the problem that impacted the refinery as a loss of steam.

He said that workers would help fix the resulting problems, but they would not assist to resume refining operations unless a new Wednesday noon ultimatum is not met.

"We will help resolve the problems until the facilities are ready to be restarted, and then we'll stop, that's our intention," he said.

BP could not immediately be reached for comment.

Workers at the refinery began a "work to rule" action at noon on Nov. 14 after failure to agree on a new contract that has been under negotiation since April.

Workers are seeking a pay package representing a 9.5% increase, citing current Dutch inflation rates above 14%, while management has offered a package including a 5% increase and a one-off 4,000 euro ($4,092.80) bonus.

($1 = 0.9773 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Toby Chopra and Louise Heavens)

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