Petrofac Workers on Repsol, BP Platforms in North Sea Launch Strikes Over Pay, Working Rotations

December 8, 2022

ETAP (Eastern Trough Area Project) platform - ©BP
ETAP (Eastern Trough Area Project) platform - ©BP

The UK’s largest industrial union, Unite, said Thursday that around 146 members will begin strike action at the Petrofac Repsol installations on December 8 and 9, "as a result of an ongoing, and increasingly bitter dispute over pay and working terms."

"The dispute relates to the removal of a 10 percent cent equal time payment, years of below inflationary pay increases, as well as issues around payments for OEUK medicals, mileage, and stand in duties," Unite said.

Repsol facilities affected by the strike are Arbroath, Auk, Bleo Holm, Claymore, Clyde, Fulmar Alpha, Montrose, Piper Bravo, Saltire, Tartan Alpha, and Flotta Oil Terminal

Separately, Unite members at Petrofac’s BP installations: Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP, and Glen Lyon installations will also begin strike action on 8 and 9 December. 

The Petrofac BP dispute centers on the working rotation, which is currently a 3 on/3 off rotation. An industrial action ballot returned a result of 98.3 percent in favor of industrial action. This action involves 76 members.

Asked by Offshore Engineer on what the workers' demands were with regards to the rotations, Unite Industrial Office John Boland said:"3:3 rotation is working 3 weeks offshore (21 days x 12 hours) followed by 3 week rest. It is universally hated by offshore workers and has been proven in studies to increase fatigue and the risk of accidents. The Petrofac BP workers are demanding that they get 4 weeks paid holiday from offshore time, if they have to work this rotation."

Unite anticipates that the strike actions at both Petrofac Repsol and Petrofac BP are "likely to cause considerable disruption."

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Offshore oil and gas companies are making eye-watering profits yet are playing Scrooge when it comes to the workers that create those profits. Instead of working to resolve this dispute, management is prolonging it. Their actions are those of a greedy and callous employer hell-bent on making their workers worse off while their shareholders bathe in the wealth created by my members. Unite supports, and will continue to support our members at Petrofac for as long as it takes for them to achieve a resolution.

 On behalf of the workforce, Unite's John Boland said: “Our members have faced a real terms pay cut and an attack on their working terms over years as a result of them taking Petrofac’s word that they would do the right thing. The workers involved in these disputes are resolute in their determination to continue with ongoing action until their claims are met. Petrofac can not only afford to pay up and settle this dispute, they should do so now in order that workers on these installations can get on with the job."



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