North Sea offshore workers begin latest round of strike action

The industrial action follows a 24-hour strike by Unite members on Thursday, December 22.

Petrofac offshore workers begin latest round of strike action on Repsol Montrose and BP platforms iStock

North Sea oil rig workers represented by Unite are walking out in a dispute over pay until December 31.

Petrofac workers on Repsol’s Montrose platform began striking on Thursday, December 29 following “a series of unacceptable pay offers”.

The industrial action follows a 24-hour strike by workers on December 22, involving platforms Arbroath, Auk, Bleo Holm, Claymore, Clyde, Fulmar Alpha, Piper Bravo, Saltire, Tartan Alpha, and the Flotta oil terminal.

Sharon Graham, the union’s general secretary, previously said 170 workers were involved.

She added: “Unite’s members are watching offshore oil and gas giants mount up eye-watering profits.

“Instead of paying the workforce what they deserve because they are the ones ultimately generating these profits, Petrofac Repsol are revelling in playing Scrooge.”

Unite said the dispute centres on the “removal of a 10% equal time payment, years of below inflationary pay increases, as well as issues around payments for Offshore Energies UK medicals, mileage and stand-in duties”.

Workers rejected the latest pay offer from the company by 79%, on an 89% turnout.

As part of a separate dispute, Petrofac workers at BP installations Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP, and Glen Lyon floating production, storage and offloading facility, will begin a 48-hour strike on December 29 to 31.

The union, the country’s largest, said the Petrofac BP dispute centres on working rotation patterns and involves 76 of its members.

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, previously said Petrofac workers had been left with “no choice but to take further strike action due to the indifference and intransigence shown by Petrofac management”.

He added: “Several rounds of 48-hour strike action will now take place following our members rejecting a latest pay offer which represents a real terms pay cut.

“The Petrofac workers are absolutely determined to continue with strike action because the company can easily afford to settle this dispute.

“We would encourage them once again to do so and allow these workers to get back on with the job.”

The union warned strike action at the facilities is “likely to cause considerable disruption”, and it warned “further action is being actively considered which would extend the dispute into 2023”.

Petrofac and BP have been contacted for comment.

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