North Sea platform workers stage wildcat walkouts over pay dispute

Staff on installations for some of the sector’s largest operators downed tools on Wednesday.

North Sea platform workers stage wildcat walkouts over pay dispute iStock

Employees working in the North Sea have staged unplanned strike action on several platforms.

Crew members on installations for some of the sector’s largest operators, including BP’s ETAP and Harbour Energy’s Judy, downed tools and caused widespread disruption with wildcat walkouts on Wednesday.

The strike has been described as a “wage revolution” by workers who believe they deserve a pay rise.

STV News understands the strikes were started by fabric maintenance staff on the TotalEnergies-operated Elgin platform and Safe Caledonia on Tuesday night.

Bilfinger workers from several platforms announced plans to down tools.

Workers are seeking an increase to base rates of £7 per hour to help with the surge in inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

Unions told STV News that while they do not condone wildcat action, they are not surprised things have come to a head.

A BP spokesperson said the firm is monitoring the ongoing unplanned industrial action and liaising with the employing companies.

“Safety remains central to everything we do and we’re confident there’s no increased risk as a result of this action,” they said.

Bilfinger UK said it is working closely with its clients and employees to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

A spokesman said: “We understand that Bilfinger UK is one of a group of contractors with employees downing tools on assets in the North Sea. We are working closely with our clients and employees to resolve this as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for the Wood group said: “A number of Wood employees and subcontractors on the ETAP platform chose not to work as scheduled this morning.

“We have received no official notification of this activity and are looking into this matter, with a view to working closely with our client and employee representatives to ensure any grievances are managed via the appropriate processes.”