North Sea oil workers go on strike in row over offshore pay and rotas

SP225OSWorkers on three North Sea platforms have gone on strike in a row over offshore rotas and wages.

Union Unite said its members started the 24-hour strike on Monday at 6am on Total E&P’s Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms.

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “We can confirm that the strike action on Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms has gone ahead as planned.

“Production has been stopped and the wells have been shut.

“Although no further talks are planned at present we would urge the company to come back to us with an improved offer to get our members back to work and the wells up and running again.”

The industrial action is the first of five planned stoppages and coincides with a continous overtime ban.

Further 24-hour strikes are planned for August 6 and 20 with twelve-hour walkouts on July 30 and August 13.

The union said the dispute centres on a wage review and plans to move workers to a three weeks on three weeks off rota, involving an extra week offshore.

Total E&P said it wants to introduce a uniform rota system which will bring staff in line with workers on their recently acquired Maersk Oil installations.

A Total E&P spokeswoman said the strikes have gone ahead despite it making new proposals.

She added: “Once more, we would like to reaffirm that what is at stake here is to ensure the long term sustainability of our business in the North Sea, to enhance overall safety and remain the most efficient in our operations.”

Meanwhile, members of a second union working for Aker Solutions on the Mariner platform have voted to strike in row on payments and expenses.

GMB members on the North Sea oil rig voted by 78% in favour of strike action, in a ballot with 79% turnout.

The announcement follows Unite members on the platform voting on Friday in favour of striking.

The workers rejected a final pay, terms and conditions offer by management.

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer, called on Aker Solutions to engage with union representatives to find a resolution.

He said: “GMB members have now let their feelings be known to Aker Solutions.

“They are prepared to take industrial action to vent their frustration over the way they feel their employer is treating them on this very lucrative contract.”

An Aker Solutions spokesman confirmed the vote, adding: “This is a disappointing development following the presentation of an enhancement to terms and conditions worth up to £8,000 per employee.

“Aker Solutions will now seek further discussions with the unions regarding their proposed steps to resolution.”

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