Strike action on Wood Group Shell North Sea oil and gas platforms goes ahead as RMT confirm ongoing overtime time

RMT workers hold N. Sea strike protest at Shell HQ in London.
RMT workers hold N. Sea strike protest at Shell HQ in London.

Following a failure by the Wood Group to come up with any solutions in talks over pay reductions, proposed cuts and changes to working conditions on Shell’s North Sea oil and gas platforms, workers in the RMT and Unite trade unions took strike action today in a 24-hr stoppage.

At the same time, a ban on overtime working started earlier today and a group of trade union supporters also held a demonstration at Shell’s London head office.

RMT said Wood Group is proposing cuts to members’ pay which could amount to up to 22%, however once reductions to allowances are factored in, the cut could be as much as 30%.

An RMT spokesman said: “We maintain that the situation is totally unnecessary as the Wood Group have just been awarded a new five year contract for North Sea operations, which is valued at $150 million.

“The unions in the joint offshore committee therefore requested further talks to try and resolve this very important matter. However, the company have indicated that they wish to bulldoze through the implementation of these cuts.

“This left RMT with little option but to ballot our members for strike action and industrial action short of strike. 

“Our affected members have voted overwhelmingly for both strike action and action short of a strike in the ballot and noting the mandate from the grass roots the National Executive Committee has taken the decision to call industrial action. The full schedule of action is outlined below.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash added: “After savage redundancies and attacks on workload and working conditions this group of offshore workers are now told that they are going to be railroaded into accepting pay cuts of up to 30%. They have voted overwhelmingly to reject this assault on their livelihoods and from 6.30 tomorrow morning the strike action begins.

“We are well aware that the company Chief Executive has had a pay increase of 28% to bring him up to £600,000. It is obscene that while the top bosses are lining their own pockets they are kicking the workforce from pillar to post. 

“This brave group of workers are taking a stand against the greed and savagery that is a mark of corporate Britain in 2016. They deserve the full support of the entire trade union movement.

“The unions remain available for serious and meaningful talks.”

Meanwhile, the Offshore Contractors’ Association called for an urgent end to the dispute.

Paul Atkinson, OCA Chief Executive, said: “We are really disappointed that the unions and Wood Group have not yet reached an agreement.

“Although the outcome of the Unite ballot was in favour of industrial action, we had hoped that strike action could be avoided.

“This is a very challenging business environment and our members have to make difficult decisions. The deal being offered by Wood Group remains within the rates and allowances in the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement which was agreed to by both GMB and Unite members last year.

“The industry as a whole must retain its focus on securing a long-term future for the UKCS (UK Continental Shelf) that sustains jobs and attracts new investment. We stand ready to offer any assistance that can bring this dispute to an end.”

Full schedule of industrial action

All RMT Members working on the Brent Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Platforms are instructed to CEASE work during the following hours:-
 
•    06:30 hours on Tuesday 26th July 2016 and 06:30 hours on Wednesday 27th July 2016.

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Thursday 28th July 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Thursday 28th July 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Saturday 30th July 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Saturday 30th July 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Tuesday 2nd August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Tuesday 2nd August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Thursday 4th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Thursday 4th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Saturday 6th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Saturday 6th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Tuesday 9th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Tuesday 9th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Thursday 11th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Thursday 11th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Saturday 13th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Saturday 13th August 2016

All RMT Members working on the Gannet, Nelson and Shearwater Platforms are instructed to CEASE work during the following hours:-

•    06:30 hours on Tuesday 26th July 2016 and 06:30 hours on Wednesday 27th July 2016.

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Friday 29th July 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Friday 29th July 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Sunday 31st July 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Sunday 31st July 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Tuesday 2nd August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Tuesday 2nd August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Friday 5th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Friday 5th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Sunday 7th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Sunday 7th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Tuesday 9th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Tuesday 9th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Friday 12th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Friday 12th August 2016

•    06:30 hours and 09:30 hours on Sunday 14th August 2016
•    18:30 hours and 21:30 hours on Sunday 14th August 2016

All RMT Members working on the Curlew Platform are instructed to CEASE work during the following hours:-

•    07:00 hours on Tuesday 26th July 2016 and 07:00 hours on Wednesday 27th July 2016.
•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Friday 29th July 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Friday 29th July 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Sunday 31st July 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Sunday 31st July 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Tuesday 2nd August 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Tuesday 2nd August 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Friday 5th August 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Friday 5th August 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Sunday 7th August 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Sunday 7th August 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Tuesday 9th August 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Tuesday 9th August 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Friday 12th August 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Friday 12th August 2016

•    07:00 hours and 10:00 hours on Sunday 14th August 2016
•    19:00 hours and 22:00 hours on Sunday 14th August 2016

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