Messages of support for striking workers on Shell platforms across the North Sea were flooding in from around the globe today (Tuesday 26 July), as they took part in a 24-hour stoppage in a dispute over proposed cuts of up to 30 per cent on pay and allowances.
Today’s strike, by over 400 members of Unite and RMT working for Wood Group, was being solidly supported by workers and follows a ban on overtime which came into force yesterday (Monday).
Support for the workers, who are on strike for the first time in generation, has come from local politicians and fellow oil and gas workers from as far away as Mexico and the United States, as well as Norway and Germany.
Adding his voice to support for the striking workers, local Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald said: “The North Sea oil and gas sector is facing a difficult time, and the industry needs to find more efficient ways of working to secure future production and jobs. That must not mean offshore workers paying the price for the downturn, when they are the very people the industry will need when the price recovers.”
Protests were also being held today outside Wood Group’s Sir Ian Wood House in Aberdeen and at Shell UK’s office in Altens Farm Road, Aberdeen to demonstrate the strength of feeling of members.
Commenting Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Wood Group bosses have so far failed to grasp the enormity of this action. This is the first strike in the North Sea in a generation. If that’s not telling Wood Group bosses how our members feel about the attack on their pay and allowances, then Wood Group bosses are deluding themselves.
“This strike is solid. Our members know it was Wood Group that led them to this point, but we remain willing and ready to resolve this dispute if they bring a fair and positive proposal to the table.
“The oil and gas sector is a global industry and our members are encouraged and heartened by the growing level of support and solidarity shown by workers and unions across the sector and beyond and from as far away as Mexico, Norway, Germany and the United States.
“We stand ready to go back into talks at any time with Wood Group to resolve this dispute before it escalates further.”
For further information please contact Unite regional officer John Boland on 01224 645271 or 07918 630435 or Liz Cairns Unite Scotland on 07736 722380 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
There will be two protests taking place on Tuesday 26th July 2016:
- 0945 - 1045 Wood Group PSN, Sir Ian Wood House, Hareness Road, Aberdeen AB12 3LE, United Kingdom
- 1100 - 1200 Shell UK Exploration & Production, 1 Altens Farm Road, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, United Kingdom
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.