Offshore workers balloted for strike action over 'pittance' pay offer

Staff accused BP of 'unfettered profiteering' after a pay rise offer of 5% days after the firm announced £6.9bn in profits.

Offshore oil drill workers and contractors balloted for strike action over ‘pittance’ pay offer iStock

Hundreds of offshore workers are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay.

Contractors and drillers represented by the Unite union accused BP of “unfettered profiteering” after the oil and gas giant reported profits of £6.9bn in the last quarter – its largest for 14 years.

It came after workers covered by the United Kingdom Drilling Contractors Association (UKDCA) were offered a 5% wage uplift by drilling firms including Archer, Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell in the wake of the largest cost of living surge in a generation.

Citigroup predicted inflation rates would hit more than 18% by January in analysis released on Monday.

UKDCA staff reacted angrily to the offer, branding it “a pittance”.

Medical staff on Shell platforms have already been balloted for industrial action over a 3.5% offer to members.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s UKDCA members are always the first to suffer when there is a downturn offshore and the last to benefit when there is an upturn – that’s if they even benefit at all. UKDCA drill crews have had no meaningful pay increase for a number of years despite the consistently high price of oil and gas, and record operator profits.

“Our members have their union’s full support in fighting for better jobs, pay and conditions offshore.”

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