N. Sea oil workers to hold 48-hr strike on Shell platforms over proposed Wood Group pay cuts

Workers show the size of pay cuts being proposed by the Wood Group
Workers show the size of pay cuts being proposed by the Wood Group

Around 300 North Sea oil workers in the RMT and Unite trade unions are set to launch a 48-hour strike from 0630 hrs tomorrow (4 Aug) in an ongoing protest at cuts in pay and conditions by their employer, the Wood Group.

This is the second industrial action announced by the unions, whose supporters will also organise a protest at the Shell’s London head office from 0800 hrs tomorrow.

The workers are employed by Wood Group to provide offshore engineering and maintenance services on seven Shell oil fields in the North Sea – affecting the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater and Curlew platforms

Unite and RMT have called on the Wood Group to drop its cuts to pay and allowances and hold further talks to resolve the dispute.

The cuts, which equate in some cases to a 30% drop in pay in allowances, triggered a 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday 26 July backed by a series of additional three hour stoppages – the first industrial action in the North Sea for nearly 30 years.

The strike last week week saw declarations of support from trade unionists across the globe, including those working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and was accompanied by demonstrations at Wood Group locations in Aberdeen.

Unite Regional Officer John Boland, said: “Industrial action is always a last resort and throughout this dispute the trade unions have sought to find a resolution in direct talks with Wood Group and at the conciliation service, Acas. 

“However, the solid action and the support that the workers received is a clear demonstration of the strength of feeling and their resolve to resist these attacks 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.

“The workforce is clearly of the view that enough is enough. 

“Wood Group needs to move away from constantly attacking the terms and conditions of its workforce and move on to a more positive agenda of working with the unions to overcome the problems affecting the offshore oil industry.

“Wood Group needs to drop the cuts and get back round the table with us if it genuinely wants to avoid further industrial action.”

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