Nearly 400 offshore oil workers started a 48-hour strike on seven Shell-operated platforms in the North Sea yesterday morning, which is due to continue until later today.
The move follows an ongoing dispute over pay cuts and changes to working hours proposed by the Aberdeen-based Wood Group.
Workers “have so far been unable to make sufficient progress that addresses the concerns of the workforce,” the General Secretary of the RMT trade union, Mick Cash, said.
Offshore Oil Workers Strike Continues
The strike will also see demonstration at Shell buildings in London and Manchester today.
Although Unite and RMT union members taking part in the industrial action have said they are protesting against cuts in pay of up to 30%, the Wood Group has denied this figure.
— Unite the union (@unitetheunion) August 5, 2016
Industrial action had already started with an overtime ban last week, which included several three-hour stoppages across the Shell platforms.
“The unions welcome the fantastic support that has been pouring in from around the world,” Cash said.
“We are also 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 added.
Offshore Oil Workers Strike Talks Postponed
According to the representative, the unions “remain available for serious and meaningful talks”.
In the meantime, tweets on RMT’s Twitter page are saying that talks have been adjourned until tomorrow.
So far, Shell has said it is disappointed with the industrial action. According to a Shell spokesman’s statement sent by email, “the UK oil and gas industry is facing an unprecedented challenge with the lower oil price environment and structural change is needed if the North Sea is to remain competitive”.
“We would encourage Wood Group management and employees to continue in their discussions so that a resolution may be reached which halts this industrial action,” the spokesman stated further.