UK North Sea: 1200 Offshore Workers to Resume Strike


UK's union Unite said that 1200 offshore workers would resume 48-hour strike action starting Wednesday, in a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions in the offshore sector.

The union said that the strike action would hit oil and gas operators including Apache, BP, Harbour Energy, Enquest, Ithaca, Repsol, Shell and TAQA. 

The 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, Sparrows Offshore Services and Wood Group. 

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Oil and gas corporations continue to enjoy a profiteering bonanza. Unite’s members are utterly determined that they should get a much better share of the profits these oil giants are making. And they deserve it. The latest round of 48-hour strike action is only the next step in our fight to deliver better jobs, pay and conditions in the offshore sector. Unite is prepared to fight over the long-haul because the union has to challenge unfettered corporate greed.”

Unite estimates that the 48-hour strike action will involve around 200 Bilfinger contractors working on BP and Repsol assets, while around 650 Stork offshore members will join the stoppage due to no improved pay offers. Around 200 offshore workers employed by Sparrows will also take part in the strike action. 

This excludes members on the BP units (Andrew, Etap, Clair, Clair Ridge, Glen Lyon and Mungo) and Enquest units (Heather, Magnus and Thistle) due to separate pay offers having being accepted by the membership. 

Unite members working for Petrofac on the Ithaca FPF1 in addition will strike over the 48-hour period along with members employed by the Wood Group on the TAQA installations. This action jointly covers around 150 members in total. 

The latest strike action follows a previous 48-hour stoppage (24-26 April) which, Unite says, caused ‘severe’ problems for major oil and gas operators.

"Due to the strike action taken by Unite members there was widespread disruption which led to installations being shut down. Unite understands this included the CNR Ninian Central and Ninian South platforms while other platforms were disrupted due to planned works having to be delayed," Unite said.

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