Unite the union confirmed today (3 March) that nearly 50 offshore Crane Operatives, Crane Maintainers, Lifting Personnel and Deck Crew working on BP’s Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP, Glen Lyon and Mungo installations have overwhelmingly backed strike action in a long running dispute in pursuit of :

  • An 18% increase in pay for 2022 or an enhanced payment which provides for a longer period of field break than the period previously worked offshore, with no reduction in earnings
  • All overtime to be paid at time and a half

96.97 per cent supported strike action in a ballot turnout of 78.57 per cent. The strike action will involve a series of 24 and 48 hour stoppages. However Unite has indicated that the industrial action could thereafter escalate to all-out strike action and a complete overtime ban.

The mandate for industrial action follows the refusal of Sparrows, and their client BP, to provide an acceptable offer to resolve the matter.

Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite’s Sparrows members on these installations are ready to fight for a decent deal until they get one. The oil and gas industry is awash with record profits. In 2022 BP’s profits were £23bn - more than double those for 2021. Corporate greed is at its peak in the offshore sector because the workforce is seeing none of these astronomical profits coming into their pay packets or through improved terms and conditions. Unite will support our members every step of the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Vic Fraser Unite Regional Officer, added: “Unite has an emphatic mandate for industrial action from our members. For years employers and operators like BP have said offshore safety is their number one priority but at the same time they treat this group with total contempt - not allowing them paid annual leave away from the equal time rotation most other offshore workers receive.

Our members concerns are about fatigue and physical and mental burnout are not being listened to and our members have had enough. Virtually all goods, including food and water, delivered to these BP installations are transferred by boat and it is the Sparrows personnel who are responsible for that safe transfer. The impact of the industrial action cannot therefore be overstated”.

The GMB and RMT trade unions are also balloting their members within Sparrows on BP installations.