North Sea oil workers walk out in dispute over pay and conditions

Strike by members of Unite union will continue until Friday and could cause considerable disruption

The Stena Spey oil platform in the UK. PA
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North Sea offshore oil workers will begin a two-day strike on Thursday in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

About 146 members of the Unite union are set to put down their tools at the Petrofac Repsol installation in the North Sea on Thursday in a dispute over pay rises, mileage and stand-in duties, among other issues.

Members of the union at Petrofac’s BP installations also began a strike in a separate dispute centring on the work rotation. The dispute involves 76 members, more than 98 per cent of whom voted in favour of taking action.

The action could cause considerable disruption and will continue until Friday.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham claimed management was “prolonging” the strike and said the union would continue to support members to find a resolution.

“Offshore oil and gas companies are making eye-watering profits yet are playing Scrooge when it comes to the workers that create those profits,” she said.

“Instead of working to resolve this dispute, management are prolonging it. Their actions are those of a greedy and callous employer hellbent on making their workers worse off while their shareholders bathe in the wealth created by my members.”

An oil platform moored in the Firth of Forth near Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. PA

Unite industrial officer John Boland said on behalf of the workforce: “Our members have faced a real terms pay cut and an attack on their working terms over years as a result of them taking Petrofac’s word that they would do the right thing.

“The workers involved in these disputes are resolute in their determination to continue with ongoing action until their claims are met.

“Petrofac cannot only afford to pay up and settle this dispute — they should do so now in order that workers on these installations can get on with the job.”

Updated: December 08, 2022, 12:01 AM
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