Members of Scotland’s biggest offshore union have voted to end an industrial dispute that led to the first North Sea strike in a generation.
In July, members of the Unite union working on Shell platforms across the North Sea started strike action after rejecting proposed cuts by their employer, the oil facilities company Wood Group.
The workers faced losing up to 30% in pay and allowances.
A proposal to end the dispute was put to members on 12 September, and today (Thursday 22 September) the union announced that they had been accepted by 105 votes to 82.
Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Our negotiations with Wood Group allowed us to reduce the levels of cuts being proposed to our members’ wages and terms and conditions.
“We were able to secure improvements to competency payments and the introduction of a flexibility payment. Threats to life insurance, health care and sick pay have been removed.
“We have a commitment to greater work security for ad-hoc workers, and they now have greater opportunities to progress into permanent posts.
“As ever, our members have shown themselves willing to be open to meaningful negotiations and are not blind to the challenges facing the offshore sector in these difficult times – but they have also shown they will not be treated unfairly.
“I would like to pay tribute to all the stewards and members who stayed united, strong and determined during this dispute. They can be proud of the way they stood by each other in this difficult time.”
Notes to editors
For further information, or to arrange an interview, contact John Boland on 07918 630435 / 01224 6455271, or Unite Scotland Media & Communications Officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Unite organised a 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday 26 July, followed by a series of three-hour stoppages, and then a 48-hour strike starting on Thursday 4 August on platforms owned by multi-national oil company Shell. The Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater and Curlew platforms were all affected.
The Wood Group proposal was put to Unite members in an electronic ballot, which opened on Monday 12th September and closed on 12 noon on Thursday 22 September.
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.