Oil and gas industry leaders think in numbers: how many millions will it cost to drill a well, how many billions can be made or lost if the price goes up or down.
Offshore workers think in numbers too: how many hours to the shift, how many weeks on and off, how many jobs at risk if the oil price stays lower for longer.
The oil price today is less than half what it was two years ago. In that time, thousands of oil and gas workers have been laid off, and tens of thousands of jobs have been lost across the wider economy.
For the first time since the era of Piper Alpha, offshore oil workers are taking strike action this week to protect their terms and conditions. They have good reason to feel insecure in the current climate.
Lewis Macdonald MSP
Standing up for Aberdeen and the North East
Workers should not pay the price – Macdonald
North East oil workers should not pay the whole price of the of the downturn in the oil and gas industry, North East Scotland Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said today, as trade union members working for Wood Group on seven Shell platforms in the Central and Northern North Sea began industrial action.
Lewis Macdonald, who represents many thousands of oil industry workers in the North East, said today:
“The North Sea oil and gas sector is facing a difficult time, and the industry needs to find more efficient ways of working to secure future production and jobs. That must not mean offshore workers paying the price for the downturn, when they are the very people the industry will need when the price recovers.
“Members of Unite and RMT who work for Wood Group on Shell contracts have voted overwhelmingly in support of strike action, but they have not take this decision lightly. Rather than simply cut terms and conditions, employers and operators need to work with their employees on identifying efficiencies, as others in the sector have done.
“This industrial action highlights the importance of involving trade unions in discussions with operators, employers and government at every level. This is the only way long-term solutions are going to be found which are supported by all those involved in the oil and gas industry.”
For more information contact Lewis Macdonald on 07770 646792 or 01224 646333