North Sea Oil Workers Strike Nearing End

Published at 08:52AM - 07/09/16

The North Sea workers strike could be nearing an end after the two UK trade unions involved announced an agreement had finally been reached.

The trade unions, Unite and RMT, had five meetings with the Wood Group since the unions decided to suspend industrial strike action in the beginning of August for further negotiations.

“Throughout this dispute, our members have remained united and strong in defence of their pay and conditions, and we have always made clear that we were open to meaningful negotiations,” Unite regional officer John Boland, said.

North Sea Oil Workers Strike Nearing End

Unite reported on Tuesday that it will ballot its members next week on a proposal that could end the industrial dispute that led to the first North Sea strike in nearly thirty years.

“The proposal we are putting to members will still involve a large degree of sacrifice on their part,” Boland explained.

 

“Wood Group has made concessions on key areas of competency and flexibility payments that will reduce the impact of the cuts they originally put forward,” he added.

“As ever, we will be guided by our members, but Unite and the offshore shop stewards believe that this proposal is the best that can be achieved in the current circumstances,” he stated further.

North Sea Fights Job Crisis

This follows a series of 24-hour and 48-hour strike actions taken on Shell’s platforms in the North Sea in July and August.

Further industrial action had already been planned, but was postponed for talks to be held between the Wood Group and the two unions against claims that Wood Group workers were facing losing up to 30% in pay and allowances.

According to the Wood Group, the proposal respects the challenges of the oil and gas industry, but also the workers’ “skills, flexibility and capabilities”. The proposal was also welcomed by Shell.

The dispute follows the rising number of job losses in the North Sea. By the end of this year, Oil & Gas UK estimates that a further 8,000 jobs will have been lost from the peak figure of 41,700 in 2014.