Embattled North Sea workers are close to organising strikes, due to pay cuts and longer hours.
Unite union met with Wood Group, one of the largest oilfield services in the North Sea, on 29th April. The union is deciding whether to accept the tough contract terms the group has laid down.
A strike would not only affect Wood Group’s projects across the North Sea, but it would also impact the decommissioning work taking place at the Brent oilfield operated by Shell. At Brent, the workers have already threatened to strike over the tough contract terms offered by Wood Group.
Union leaders for oil and gas workers claim the North Sea workforce may have reached the end of its tether after being pushed too far. The sector is already struggling, and the tough working terms have increased the possibility of industrial action.
Unite has said that workers are being made to work longer hours while being paid lower than what they used to get.
Nautilus, a maritime union, has said that British oil and gas contractors are being overlooked by oilfield operators, who favour Asian workers and offer them rates that are well below the UK minimum wage.
A consultative ballot held by Unite last month showed that 93.5% of its members are in favour of industrial action, which will affect practically every North Sea installation.
Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty stated that industrial action was the last thing the union’s members wanted, especially after the pressure the oil and gas sector is facing. However, if the workforce is pushed too far, it will have no other recourse but to put down its tools, and the union would support the workforce.
Wood Group said that it was in the process of reviewing the workforce requirements for Shell’s Brent Alpha and Delta platforms, and that the company was working with affected employees to provide them with redeployment opportunities where possible.
SOLO Platinum can offer oil and gas contractors payroll solutions to retain more of your contract’s value, helping to maximise your income to combat any contract reductions that may have affected you.