Petrofac workers in strike ballot over pay
- Thursday 29 September 2022
Operator Repsol awash with profits of £2.1bn
Petrofac workers are being balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, Scotland’s leading offshore trade union Unite can confirm.
Around 140 members will vote on industrial action with the ballot opening today (29 September) and closing on 27 October.
The workers include deck crew, platers, pipe fitters, electricians and riggers.
The industrial action ballot follows Unite members rejecting a 3 per cent pay offer with the broader measure of inflation (RPI) standing at 12.3 per cent.
Unite has made a series of demands including the restoration of the onshore training day and medical payments along with the reinstatement of a 10 per cent salary deduction worth up to £7,000. The salary cut was made in 2020 at the outset of the Covid pandemic.
If the ballot for industrial action is successful then it will have a major impact on the maintenance and running of Repsol’s North Sea platforms and the Flotta Oil Terminal (see notes to editor).
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s highly skilled members working for Petrofac deserve a fair pay rise and the reinstatement of cuts made to their salary in 2020. Our members are helping to generate the eye-watering profits being made by the operator Repsol which are then being siphoned off to pay directors and shareholders across the globe but not the workforce itself. We will support our members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”
Repsol reported profits of £2.1bn across its activities last year with net income for the fourth quarter of 2021 standing at £728m.
Petrofac are a signatory to the Energy Services Agreement which is a collective bargaining agreement covering around 5,000 workers in the UK Continental Shelf.
John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: “The workforce have been left with no option but to vote in a ballot over strike action. The main issue our members are furious about is the 10% salary reduction in 2020 which has not been addressed. Operators are drowning in the profits they are making yet our members are seeing next to nothing. In fact, they are being offered a real terms pay cut. Any industrial action due to the greed of Petrofac and the operator will have a major impact on the maintenance and running of the platforms.”
Unite has accused oil and gas companies of ‘unfettered profiteering’. In August, BP reported its biggest quarterly profit for 14 years which hit £6.9bn between April and June - more than three times the amount it made in the same period last year.
Notes to Editor
Repsol Sinopec Resources UK - North Sea Assets covered by ballot include Arbroath, Auk, Bleo Holm, Claymore, Clyde, Fulmar, Montrose, Piper, Saltire and Tartan.
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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.