Unite members take industrial action as Petrofac attack rotas and pay

Unite, the UK’s largest union, announced today (24 November) that it will be serving further industrial action notice on Petrofac Repsol of new strike dates on the 8 and 9 December. These dates will replace strike dates already announced of 30 November and 1 December. This dispute involves around 146 members and is the result of the removal of a 10 per cent Equal Time payment, a continuous below inflationary increase of 3 per cent cost of living increase for years, payment for OEUK medicals, increase in mileage payments and stand in duties payment.

In a further dispute with Petrofac we can also confirm the outcome of the Petrofac BP Industrial action ballot has returned a result of 98.3 per cent in favour of industrial action. The action involving 76 members, will take place on the Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP, and Glen Lyon installations on 8 and 9 December. The Petrofac BP dispute centres on the working rotation, which is currently a work 3 on/3 off rotation.

The employees of Petrofac across the BP assets were forced into an equal time 3 weeks on-3 off working pattern when the downturn in oil prices occurred in 2015. This led to an overall increase in average weekly working hours which fell outside the maximum defined in the Working Time Directive, which Unite members were then forced to waive to keep their jobs.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Petrofac continue to underpay and attack the terms and conditions of my members resulting in dispute after dispute with them. When will this company’s management understand that our members will not take these actions lying down and are prepared to fight every unjust decision and every unfair pay offer. Unite supports 100 per cent our members decision to fight attacks on their pay and conditions.

Unite industrial officer John Boland, on behalf of the workforce stated: “While Petrofac have refused all requests for a return to a healthy work/life balance BP have remained complicit in the discrimination of its contracting workforce. BP promote a ‘One Team’ policy however continue to condone the poor treatment of contractors while their own employees enjoy a 3-4-3-5 working pattern, in some instances doing the same job, and, as the client company, could easily enforce equality across its assets. Let’s be clear, it is not ‘One Team’, they have instigated a ‘Them and Us’ policy.

“With a return to a healthy oil economy these onerous rota conditions have remained in place to the detriment of the workforce; their home lives, family and friends. This was even more acutely felt during the Covid lockdown period with additional time required for testing, quarantine, and travel.


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.