North Sea Oil Workers Walk Out

Published at 01:07PM - 26/07/16

Approximately 400 hundred North Sea oil workers have walked out of their premises at 06:30 this morning, following a strike action that is to last for 24 hours.

The Wood Group employees, members of the RMT and Unite unions, are protesting over cuts in their pay and allowances.

“Workers for Wood Group across Shell’s North Sea oil and gas platforms have overwhelmingly spoken. The company will now have to live with the consequences,” International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) General Secretary, Steve Cotton, said.

North Sea Oil Workers Walk Out

“Perhaps it will now see the need to reconsider its plans to slash the pay of these offshore workers, restrict their leave and increase their work – all on top of recent harmful redundancies,” he added.

ITF President Paddy Crumlin, said: “The North Sea offshore industry can be a glowing example of how to get things right. Wood Group has undermined that and brought down on its heads the justified anger of its workers”.

Oil Workers Striking Onboard The Shell Nelson Platform
Oil Workers Striking Onboard The Shell Nelson Platform

The workers’ action is affecting seven Shell oil platforms as well as overtime, with further stoppages planned for the following weeks.

This is the first industrial action of the kind in the offshore oil and gas industry in nearly thirty years.

Unions Get Overwhelming Support

Meanwhile, the strike has received an overwhelming support by members of RMT and Unite.

According to the Secretary General of RMT, Mick Cash, the group of workers on strike is being told they will have to accept pay cuts of up to 30%.

“We are well aware that the company chief executive has had a pay increase of 28% to bring him up to £600,000. It is obscene that, while the top bosses are lining their own pockets, they are kicking the workforce from pillar to post,” he said.

Oil Workers On Strike Outside Shell's Aberdeen Upstream Office
Oil Workers On Strike Outside Shell’s Aberdeen Upstream Office

Unite Regional Officer John Boland said the union is disappointed. “Bosses at Wood Group are simply not listening”, he stated.

According to Boland, this dispute shows that members feel “backed into a corner and left with no other option but to use their industrial strength to make Wood Group listen”.

The Wood Group says it is “extremely disappointed” with the strike and remains focused on reaching a resolution.

Shell, in its turn, is describing this industrial action as “highly regrettable” and says it remains focused on not compromising safety.