Oil and gas contractors across the world have been facing tough times with the collapse in the oil and gas industry and countries announcing a shift from fossil fuels to other sustainable fuels. Hence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Unite union has warned Wood Group of industrial action should offshore workers of the company working on Shell’s North Sea platform face further pay cuts.
Union officials have demanded that the company withdraw its changes to the terms and conditions, and have stated they will be airing their opposition when they meet Wood Group’s management.
In February 2016, Wood Group announced that it would be slashing rates of oil and gas contractors working in the UK by a third. It justified the rate cut by pointing towards the cost and efficiency challenges that the UK North Sea oil and gas sector was experiencing. The company also announced that it was working closely with the workforce that was affected by the rate cut. This was the third rate cut Wood Group had announced in two years.
However, Unite has said that offshore workers are stating that large oil companies are informing oil and gas contractors to pass on further rate cuts to their workforce. Unite said that this move is unacceptable to the offshore workers, who have threatened industrial action to protect their pay and working conditions.
Unite also stated that continuing reductions in the workforce would undermine the stringent health and safety standards that govern offshore platforms.
Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said that the union would be consulting with its members regarding the concerns it has, and will take official industrial action should the need arise. The union has advised employers to address the issues that require immediate attention without delay to prevent the situation from escalating.
A Wood Group spokesperson said that the management was working with affected employees as well as the two unions, GMB and Unite.
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