Strike Hits Shell North Sea Platforms

Published at 03:02PM - 25/07/16

Unite and RMT union members employed by the Wood Group are to take strike action on July 26, the first in a generation on the North Sea.

The industrial action will affect Shell oil platforms located in the Brent field and started with an overtime ban today.

“Our firm focus remains on reaching a resolution, which meets our mutual goal of sustaining these jobs for our employees in the North Sea now and in the future, against the backdrop of an extremely challenging climate created by the sustained low oil price,” Wood Group’s CEO for the eastern region business union, Dave Stewart, said.

Strike Hits Shell North Sea Platforms

The CEO explained that the Group remains committed to ensure that employees’ safety and wellbeing is not compromised during industrial action.

“Although we are extremely disappointed that industrial action will be taken, we respect the right of those employees who choose to do so,” he said.

Stewart added that the Group met union representatives on Friday and senior management visited the installations that will be impacted by the strike “with the clear aim of positively progressing discussions towards reaching a solution”.

Strike Won’t Impact Shell Platforms

Speaking ahead of the planned North Sea industrial action, a Shell spokesman said, in an emailed statement: “This action is highly regrettable. Shell’s priority is to ensure the safety of our workforce and assets and we will not compromise on safety during this period of industrial action”.

The spokesman added that the need for structural change is clear “in order for the North Sea oil and gas industry to remain competitive in a lower oil price environment”.

“We hope that Wood Group’s employees and management will continue working towards reaching a solution which will halt this counter-productive industrial action”, he added.

According to a statement by the RMT and Unite unions, the strike action will be taken across Shell assets in the Brent field at the following platforms: Shearwater, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie.

“Unite remains committed to achieving a negotiated settlement in this dispute and will leave the door open for Wood Group to enter into meaningful negotiations”, Unite said in a statement.

Shell does not expect any impact on production as a result of this industrial action, the company informed.