Unite's Petrofac Members Prepare for Strike on Ithaca Energy's Offshore Platforms

The UK-based union Unite said Tuesday that around 85 offshore workers employed by Petrofac Facilities Management Limited are set to take strike action over six days on installations operated by Ithaca Energy.

According to Unite, the dispute centers on Ithaca Energy’s fourteen-day 'clawback' policy. Petrofac offered to reduce this policy to twelve days. The industry norm is seven days.

"Unite members on the FPF1 platform, Alba FSU, Alba North, Captain FPSO, and Captain WPP installations, overwhelmingly rejected the contractor’s offer. Twelve days would still leave the Petrofac workers operating under the highest rate of ‘clawback’ days in the offshore sector.  It is the financial equivalent of up to £6,000 lost income per person," Unite said.

The strike action includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders and crane operators. 

The strike action will begin at 6 a.m. on October 1 and end at 5.59 a.m. on October 7.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s Petrofac Ithaca members continue to stand firm in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions. Unite’s members rightly rejected the latest offer because it would still leave them having to work the highest number of clawback days in the offshore sector. This is unacceptable. Our members will have their union’s full support in the latest phase of their strike action.”

Last week, Unite revealed that around 85 offshore workers on a number of Shell installations overwhelmingly accepted an improved wage offer. The deal secured a cumulative increase of 10 percent, which is worth a pay increase of up to £6,000.

A number of other improvements were secured, including enhancements to sick pay and Shell’s own clawback policy on the Gannet, Nelson, Shearwater, and Brent Charlie installations. 

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite’s Petrofac members on a number of Ithaca installations will no longer tolerate a situation which leaves them the worst-off in terms of clawback days across the offshore sector.”

“This dispute will continue to fester until Petrofac and Ithaca get round the table to do right by the workers. If they do not, then Unite will hold them to account as will our members who will take strike action if they have to in order to make their voices heard.”


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