3.5% pay offer rejected amid cost-of-living crisis

The nation’s leading offshore trade union, Unite, has confirmed today (8 August) that medics who work on Shell platforms will be balloted for strike action following the rejection of a real terms cut pay.

Unite represents more than a dozen workers employed by United Healthcare Global Medical (UK) who provide essential medial cover on oil giant Shell’s platforms.

These include the Brent Charlie, Gannet Alpha, Shearwater, Nelson, Sole Pit Clipper and Leman Alpha platforms.

The dispute is over the pay claim for 2022, with United Healthcare making a ‘final offer’ of 3.5 per cent to critical and life-saving medics without which the Shell platforms are not able to operate safely.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our medics who work for United Healthcare deserve far more than what is a real terms pay cut. The company is swimming in profits to the tune of almost £9 million, yet they refuse to share any of this with these lifesaving workers. Our members will have their union’s full support in this fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite has warned United Healthcare that its 3.5 per cent offer is ‘completely unacceptable’ amid the deepening cost-of-living crisis, with inflation soaring to 11.8 per cent. The company last recorded profit after taxation of £8.9 million in December 2020.

The ballot will open on 11 August, and close on the 8 September, with action anticipated to begin in late September.

Unite industrial officer John Boland said: “The reality is that Shell’s platforms cannot operate safely without these medics. Fact. The offer on the table is completely unacceptable. The company needs to act now and make a better offer. We will now ballot on strike action.”


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Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.