Unite secures three weeks extra leave for 50 offshore workers

Unite the union announced today (Tuesday, 21 March) that offshore workers employed by Sparrows Offshore Services have reached a deal securing an extra three weeks paid leave on BP assets.  The union says the deal is equivalent to a 10 per cent rise in pay.

Nearly 50 offshore Crane Operatives, Crane Maintainers, Lifting Personnel and Deck Crew secured the extra three weeks paid annual leave from time offshore with no reduction in wages. The Unite members are employed by Sparrows to work on BP’s Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP, Glen Lyon and Mungo installations.

The agreement will also implement the 2022 pay rise across all elements of the workers’ wages, terms and conditions. The deal further includes the introduction of overtime at time and a half for hours worked above the normal 12-hour shift.  Strike action by Unite members set from 29 March until 7 June across BP platforms will now not take place.

Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite’s Sparrows members on BP assets have secured an extra three weeks paid leave along with other benefits including an uplift in overtime pay because they were fully prepared to strike and fight for a better deal.

 “We urge other North Sea contractors and operators, including Sparrows Offshore Service where we remain in dispute, to acknowledge our members’ resolve, do the right thing and come back with a deal our members can accept in order to avoid a possible tsunami of industrial action.”

Yesterday, Unite announced a series of ballot results where around 1400 members have overwhelmingly backed strike action on the UK Continental Shelf. The trade union has warned that this could create an ’tsunami of industrial action’ if the disputes involving Bilfinger UK Limited, Stork construction, Petrofac Facilities Management, and the Wood Group UK Limited.

As part of the announcement, Unite highlighted there was a separate dispute over pay and conditions involving around 150 Unite members employed by Sparrows Offshore Service across more than 20 oil and gas platforms. This dispute, which would hit a number of major operators including Apache, Shell, and Harbour Energy, remains unresolved.

Vic Fraser Unite Regional Officer, added: “Unite’s members on BP assets overwhelmingly accepted a revised offer by Sparrows. It’s a great deal which secures an extra three weeks paid leave, which is the equivalent to a 10 per cent wage rise. We have also secured other improvements to pay, terms and conditions. The dispute on BP assets is now over, however, operators need to pay attention to the way they treat their contractors. If they do not, then Unite has a simple message: we are coming after you.”