Major Strike Action to Hit UK North Sea Oil and Gas Platforms


UK-based union Unite said Friday that historic 48-hour strike action would hit platforms in the UK North Sea.

Unite said that 1300 offshore workers would begin a 48-hour stoppage from Monday, April, 24, which will cause "severe" problems for major oil and gas operators.

The trade union predicted that the strike action could result in production shutdowns due to the specialized work its members undertake on offshore platforms and assets.

The 48-hour strike action will hit oil and gas operators, including BP, CNRI, EnQuest, Harbour, Ithaca, Shell, TAQA and Total, Unite said.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said:"Oil and gas companies are enjoying record windfall profits, and they can easily afford to give our members a decent pay rise. The 48-hour strike action will only be the start of the tsunami of industrial unrest if contractors and operators refuse to give our offshore members the better jobs, pay, and conditions they deserve. The scale of corporate greed in the offshore sector has to be challenged, and it will be by Unite.”

 The prospective action includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders, crane operators, pipefitters, platers, and riggers working for Bilfinger UK Limited, Petrofac Facilities Management, Stork Technical Services, and Sparrows Offshore Services.

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: “An army of 1300 workers will take part in the biggest offshore stoppage in a generation. The 48-hour strike action will cause severe problems for contractors and operators.

We believe that due to the specialised nature of work our members undertake, offshore platforms will not be able to operate safely and efficiently without them. The strike action could halt production on dozens of platforms and bring them to a standstill.”

Unite recently confirmed that around 70 offshore workers employed by TotalEnergies on the Elgin Franklin and North Alwyn platforms, along with the Shetland Gas Plant were being balloted on strike action. The ballots close on May 5.

Unite has strike mandates at Petrofac BP covering around 100 members and over 80 members employed by the Wood Group on TAQA assets. No strike dates have been announced in relation to these disputes. Unite also has a further strike mandate at Worley Services UK Limited involving 50 members but action has been suspended while talks continue with the company, the union said.

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