A 48-hour strike by North Sea offshore oil and gas workers started today (August 4), after company managers rejected an offer from trade unions.
Workers in the trade unions Unite and RMT will go ahead with the planned stoppage as part of an ongoing dispute with employers Wood Group. The workers are facing a massive cut in pay and allowances of up to 30 per cent.
In last-minute meetings this week, unions had offered to suspend the strike if the company agreed to remove their current proposal in full to allow for further consultation and negotiation. The company refused.
“We are extremely disappointed that Wood Group has decided to continue its attack on the pay and allowances of offshore workers,” Unite regional officer John Boland said. “We repeat our call for proper consultation and negotiation.
“Industrial action is always a last resort and throughout this dispute we have constructively sought to find a resolution,” he added. “We need to look forward and work towards a sustainable solution.
“Offshore workers do a difficult, dangerous job and we all rely on the energy they produce,” Boland explained.
“We need Wood Group and other energy companies to stop constantly attacking these workers, and move on to a more positive agenda, working with the unions to address the challenges facing the industry.”
As part of the dispute, Unite organised a 24-hour stoppage on last Tuesday (July 26), followed by a series of three-hour stoppages on platforms owned by multi-national oil company Shell. The Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater and Curlew platforms were all affected.
During the dispute the striking workers have received declarations of support from trade unionists across the globe, including those working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. There have also been demonstrations at Wood Group’s Aberdeen headquarters.