Oil giant's offshore medics to be balloted on industrial action

Shell reported profits of £9.4bn in the last quarter, amid fears that the average energy bill could hit £500 in January.

Unite the Union: Oil giant Shell’s offshore medics to be balloted on industrial action iStock

Shell’s offshore medics are set to be balloted on industrial action as part of a dispute over pay.

Trade union Unite announced on Monday that its members who work on the oil and gas company’s platforms would be balloted following the rejection of a 3.5% pay offer.

It represents more than a dozen workers employed by UnitedHealthcare Global (UK) who provide medical cover on Shell’s platforms.

These include Brent Charlie, Gannet Alpha, Shearwater, Nelson, Sole Pit Clipper and Leman Alpha platforms.

The union warned the energy giant that the offer was “completely unacceptable” after its profits hit a record high last month.

Shell reported a profit of £9.4bn in the last quarter, amid warnings that the average household’s energy bill might hit around £500 in January alone.

The ballot will open on August 11 and close on the September 8, with action predicted to begin in late September.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our medics who work for United Healthcare deserve far more than what is a real terms pay cut.

“The company is swimming in profits to the tune of almost £9m yet they refuse to share any of this with these lifesaving workers.

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

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: “The reality is that Shell’s platforms cannot operate safely without these medics. Fact. The offer on the table is completely unacceptable.

“The company needs to act now and make a better offer. We will now ballot on strike action.”

A Shell spokesperson said: “Ensuring the health and safety of the people on our offshore installations is our top priority at all times.

“Shell supports constructive dialogue between Unite the Union and UnitedHealthcare Global to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.”

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