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Unite members in North Sea take part in first strike a...

Unite members in North Sea take part in first strike action in 28 years

25 July 2016

Unite members working on Shell platforms across the North Sea will be on strike tomorrow (Tuesday 26 July) for the first time in 28 years in response to Wood Group’s failure to withdraw proposed cuts of up to 30 per cent in pay and allowances. 

Unite balloted its members and received overwhelming support in favour of strike action of 99.1 per cent on a turnout of 86.6 per cent. The RMT union is also taking part in the strike action which follows the disappointment of both unions that talks at the conciliation service Acas failed to resolve the situation. Around 400 workers from both unions are involved in the action.

Tomorrow’s 24 hour stoppage starts at 06:30 and follows a ban on overtime by workers which came into force at midnight today (Monday 25 July). Tomorrow’s strike and the action short of strike will be followed by further stoppages over the coming weeks.

John Boland Unite regional officer said: “To say we are disappointed it has had to come to this is an understatement, but bosses at Wood Group are simply not listening. This dispute is the first in the North Sea in three decades and shows the strength of feeling of our members who feel backed into a corner and left with no other option but to use their industrial strength to make Wood Group listen.

“Our members have been faced with changes to shift patterns which have seen them working longer offshore for the same pay and as well as having three rounds of redundancies imposed on them. This attack on their pay and allowances has pushed our members too far this time.

“For decades, oil and gas companies across the North Sea have made hay while the sun shone and become very profitable on the back of the hard work and dedication of our members. Now the weather has turned for the industry, they are using the downturn to attack the pay, terms and conditions of our members.

“Unite has the strongest possible mandate for this action, but stands committed to further talks with Wood Group bosses. However, they must significantly improve their position by withdrawing the threats to reduce pay and remove allowances. No request for an eleventh-hour meeting has been made by Wood Group bosses.

ENDS  

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.