Offshore Strike Talks Collapse

Published at 12:49PM - 03/08/16

More than 300 offshore North Sea oil workers are set to start a 48-hour strike tomorrow, on August 4, against pay cuts proposed by the Wood Group.

This is the second strike announced by trade unions RMT and Unite and follows the collapse in the recent talks between management and the unions.

“We urge the unions to show willingness to reengage with us with a clear objective of reaching a resolution that safeguards employment opportunities for our employees, their members, both now and in the future,” Wood Group CEO, Dave Stewart, said at the time of the first industrial action.

Offshore Strike Talks Collapse 

According to Unite, unions offered to suspend the strike if the Wood Group removed the current proposal for changes in pay and conditions to allow further talks.

The offer was rejected and industrial action will continue as planned, the union said.

“We were willing to suspend the implementation of the terms and conditions currently proposed to enable further detailed discussions with our employees and the unions,” Stewart added.

“The safety and wellbeing of our employees remains our top priority and our commitment is to ensuring this is not compromised by this extended period of industrial action,” the CEO stated further.

New Strike to Affect Seven Shell Platforms

Seven North Sea platforms operated by Shell should be affected by the strike.

The move follows an announcement by the Wood Group in February saying it was cutting rates paid to about a third of its UK contractor workforce, due to “continuing cost and efficiency challenges affecting the UK North Sea oil and gas sector”.

According to Unite regional officer John Boland, trade unions have tried to resolve the dispute, but workers are showing determination in not accepting the cuts on pay and allowances.

“The cuts in take home pay come on top of the imposition of job losses and major changes, such as the potentially unsafe shift to three week blocks of working offshore,” he said.

“The workforce is clearly of the view that enough is enough,” he added.