Around 800 offshore workers set to strike after pay offer rejected

Dozens of offshore installations are expected to be affected by the strikes which will take place in June.

Around 800 offshore workers set to strike with Unite after pay offer rejected from Bilfinger UK STV News

Dozens of offshore installations are expected to be impacted after hundreds of workers announced plans to take strike action.

Members of Unite union rejected a new pay offer at Bilfinger UK Limited, which union bosses say amounts to a pay cut for workers.

Unite confirmed on Friday that a fresh round of strikes will now take place in June.

The new pay deal was rejected based on the offshore assets of operators Ithaca, CNRI and TAQA.

The offshore action also comes as oil giants BP and Shell recently made combined profits of £11.7bn.

A Unite Investigates’ report released this week reveals that companies made £45bn profit from the UK domestic energy system in 2022.

The offers all constituted a basic pay increase of 6% however with the current real inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.5%, Unite say this represents a significant real terms pay cut.

The offer was rejected by around 600 workers.

Members at Bilfinger did not participate in the previous round of 48-hour strikes which involved 1,200 offshore workers between May 10 and 12 as the pay offer was being put to the membership.

The previous strike action did involve around 200 Bilfinger contractors working on BP and Repsol assets.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s offshore members working for Bilfinger have given a loud and clear answer to the company and oil operators.

“Simply put: below inflation pay offers from a sector awash with billions in record profits is unacceptable. Our members remain resolute in their fight to secure good jobs, pay and conditions across the offshore sector, and they will have Unite’s full support.”

The strike action will take place from 6.30am on June 1 to 6.29am on June 3.

It will then commence again between June 8 and June 10.

The industrial action will affect a number of oil and gas operators including BP, CNRI, Ithaca, Repsol and TAQA.

Over 30 installations will be hit by 800 tradespersons not completing planned work.

Shauna Wright, Unite industrial officer, added: “Bilfinger and operators have attempted to play divide and conquer tactics but this has spectacularly backfired on them. Unite’s members remain united and solid.

“800 Bilfinger workers across over thirty offshore installations will now take part in two new 48-hour stoppages in June.

“Our Bilfinger members are determined to secure pay increases which at the very least match inflation.

“The company and the operators have one last chance to resolve this before a new wave of industrial action hits dozens of offshore assets.”

A spokesperson for Bilfinger UK, said: “As an Energy Services Agreement (ESA) signatory, we align with the industry base rates of pay that are agreed annually with the unions, and this most recent offer follows a 4% increase that was awarded in January.

“We respect the right for peaceful and planned strike action and will continue to engage with the unions, our clients and our colleagues to come to a positive resolution. Operational safety remains our top priority and we have procedures in place to minimise any potential disruption.”

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