Unite the union today (16 November) confirmed that around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd have voted in favour of industrial action following a dispute over cuts to terms and conditions.

Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members voted to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, and Semco Maritime Ltd members voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a 61.4% return.

Unite members are now set to take strike action, including an overtime ban, from early December until late February 2022.

These members work on the Total Energies contract on the following assets; Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas Plant.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite members at Ponticelli/Semco have made their intentions clear in the ballot. They are going to push back against this attack on their jobs, pay and conditions. Those making the decisions within these companies clearly lack experience and sound  judgement. They need to rethink their proposals and come back with an improved offer. Otherwise they are going to faced determined industrial action which will be supported all the way by the union.”

Unite regional officer, John Boland said: “Unite members are beyond angry and frustrated. We now see that Unite was right when we raised concerns about the inexperience of these two companies and that that inexperience would result in cost cutting for our members terms and conditions as well as jobs.

“These workers have worked through the Covid pandemic, losing leave days while involved in Covid testing and while in isolation, they are the people that have kept North Sea platforms producing oil and gas for Total. But now that oil and gas prices are at a new high, vaccines have greatly reduced the impact of Covid, and Total are making millions in profits, our members are being asked to accept cuts to their terms and conditions and redundancies.

“The only way our members can stop these attacks on pay and conditions is to fight for them. This ballot result is a clear mandate that our members will not accept this appalling treatment.”