Motion S5M-00866 Supports #Northseastrike: Elaine Smith MSP, Central Scotland , Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/07/2016 North Sea Industrial Action


sp 1

Motion S5M-00866: Elaine Smith, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/07/2016 
  • North Sea Industrial Action
    That this Parliament supports the members of the Unite and RMT trade unions in their dispute with the North Sea contractor, Wood Group PSN, over a proposed cut to pay and terms and conditions of up to 30%; understands that the industrial action taken on seven Shell platforms is the first in the North Sea since the early 1990s when the industry was resisting post-Piper Alpha reform; further understands that over 85,000 jobs offshore and in the supply chain have been lost since the oil price collapsed in 2014, resulting in an average reduction of 20% in staff levels on platforms across the UK North Sea; is deeply concerned that contractual cuts, shift increases and bigger workloads for the remaining staff mean that offshore workers are now expected to work an average of 300 hours more a year with heavier workloads but for no extra pay, while directly employed Shell staff on the same platforms work shorter hours and have longer leave entitlement, as well as higher pay; believes that Wood Group PSNs highest paid director received pay and benefits in 2015 of £345,000 and that the parent company, Wood Group plc, awarded a 28% pay rise to one executive and paid out a dividend to shareholders of £79 million; is concerned that morale among offshore workers is low and has been further eroded by legitimate anxieties over safety on understaffed installations and on helicopter transport; believes that Scotland’s maximum economic benefit from declining North Sea oil and gas reserves is undermined by poor employment practices by contractors and oil companies in the North Sea, and calls on the Scottish Government to support this industrial action and good industrial relations in the offshore industry in order to maximise Scotland’s economic benefit from the offshore oil and gas industry, including the decommissioning sector. Supported by: Andy Wightman, Alison Johnstone, Neil Findlay, Alex Rowley, Anas Sarwar, David Stewart, James Kelly, Iain Gray, Lewis Macdonald

    _59732983_59732982iaingray333NF MSP 1Alison-Johnstone-chamber-picLewisAndy Wightman SPasmsp0065lsf_ksyz_400x40013413678_486882534838553_3915312750787077842_nLabour Cowdenbeath by-election campaign12366435_918368071552477_6975037832559639533_n (1)22802_943247309059583_3559084675486918803_n

    Colin Smyth - Labour - South Scotland
    Colin Smyth – Labour




  1. You can support the Unite and RMT union members employed by Wood Group on Shell assets UKCS  taking Industrial Action  by contacting your MSP
  2. Send a message  of support to Unite and  RMT  Trade unions  at  and/or





Unite Press Release: Drop the cuts to stop the dispute say offshore oil and gas workers




For immediate use: Friday 29 July 2016

Drop the cuts to stop the dispute say offshore oil and gas workers

Offshore trade unions, Unite and RMT have issued a fresh call to Wood Group to drop its cuts to pay and allowances and hold further talks to resolve the dispute ahead of further strike action on Shell platforms planned for next week.

The cuts, which equate in some cases to a massive 30 per cent drop in pay in allowances, triggered a 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday 26 July backed by a series of additional three hour stoppages.

A 48-hour strike is now scheduled for Thursday 4 August, affecting the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater and Curlew platforms. The strike this week saw declarations of support from trade unionists across the globe, including those working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and was accompanied by demonstrations at Wood Group locations on shore.

Commenting Unite Regional Officer John Boland, said: “Industrial action is always a last resort and throughout this dispute the trade unions have sought to find a resolution in direct talks with Wood Group and at the conciliation service, Acas.

“However, the solid actions this week and the support that the workers received is a clear demonstration of the strength of feeling and their resolve to resist these attacks on pay and allowances.

“The cuts in take home pay come on top of the imposition of job losses and major changes, such as the potentially unsafe shift to three week blocks of working offshore.

“The workforce is clearly of the view that enough is enough.

“Wood Group needs to move away from constantly attacking the terms and conditions of its workforce and move on to a more positive agenda of working with the unions to overcome the problems affecting the offshore oil industry.

“Wood Group needs to drop the cuts and get back round the table with us if it genuinely wants to avoid further industrial action.”


For further information, contact John Boland on 07918 630435 or 01224 645 271.

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web:

Send messages of solidarity 2 & to & RT


Fellesforbundet – oil and gas union in Norway sends support.

Dear colleagues
Going out on the first strike in the British oil and gas sector is a big and brave desision. As an oil and gas union in Norway Fellesforbundet supports your rightful demands. We see as the oil prices have gone down that companies try to cut costs whereever they can. More often than not they go after workers hard earned wages and rights and safety. Fellesforbundet wishes you every success in this important strike, and stand by you in your struggle.

Best regards
Atle Høie
International secretary

Vennlig hilsen


More messages of support.

Full support from the Scottish Construction RISC ,Could you please pass on a message of solidarity and support to our comrades in the Wood Group who are taking industrial action in defense of their terms and conditions. They have our full support and solidarity in their actions.

John Gillespie Chair



IndustriAll European support letter

By e-mail to: industriAll European Trade Union Affiliates of Unite the Union and

RMT at Wood Group in North Sea ( and

CC: Len McCluskey (General Secretary of Unite the Union), Tony Burke (Assistant General Secretary of Unite the Union), Mich Cash (General Secretary of RMT).


Brussels, 25th July 2016

Dear friends and comrades,

On behalf of industriAll European Trade Union representing 7 millions of industrial workers in Europe, we voice our solidarity to the Unite and RMT members employed by Wood group on Shell oil platforms in the Brent Field on the North Sea. IndustriAll Europe supports the first strike in a generation that will be held on the 26th July 2016 and the stoppages of the following weeks striving to open meaningful negotiations concerning the dispute.

Last years, imposition of three weeks working cycle (instead of two) on off-shore hard working and highly skilled workers already harshened their jobs. Today, we will no longer accept deterioration of working conditions and strongly believe it is unacceptable that the Wood group cut pay and allowances by 30%. These attempts of the company to cut in working conditions and salaries must be stopped NOW! We support you in your demand from the company to immediately start meaningful negotiations and propose equal, fair and quality working conditions for all offshore oil workers in Europe.

IndustriAll European Trade Union has developed over the last years several activities to defend workers of the ‘off-shore oil and gas’-sector, and we will continue to do so. Our European affiliates will all be informed about your fight and we will ask them to actively support your actions on Tuesday 26th July and in the upcoming days and weeks.

IndustriAll European Trade Union draws its strength from unity and in solidarity we will continue to address worker-related challenges.

In solidarity, Michael Vassiliadis President Luc Triangle General Secretary

Messages of support

As much as I would love to be there at both locations, because of my health I am unable to travel. But let me take the opportunity to give my whole hearted support to you all.

I will be there in spirit though.
In Solidarity
Dave McRae. Ex Unite rep. Retired. Mem no. 40192075.
Best regards to Wully Wallace.
One day Longer, one day Stronger! V.Lartson