Operators to be hit by latest action include BP, Enquest, Repsol, Shell and TAQA

Unite the union confirmed that around 1200 contractors will resume 48-hour strike action starting today (10 May) until Friday (12 May) in an increasingly bitter dispute over jobs, pay and conditions in the offshore sector (see notes to editor).

The latest 48-hour strike action will hit multibillion oil and gas operators including Apache, BP, Harbour Energy, Enquest, Ithaca, Repsol, Shell and TAQA.

The prospective action includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders, crane operators, pipefitters, platers, and riggers working for Bilfinger UK Limited, Petrofac Facilities Management, Stork Technical Services, Sparrows Offshore Services and Wood Group.

Last week, Unite blasted government inaction over the ‘obscene profits’ being recorded by oil and gas corporations. BP and Shell together made first quarter profits touching £11.7 billion. 

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Oil and gas corporations continue to enjoy a profiteering bonanza. Unite’s members are utterly determined that they should get a much better share of the profits these oil giants are making. And they deserve it.

The latest round of 48-hour strike action is only the next step in our fight to deliver better jobs, pay and conditions in the offshore sector. Unite is prepared to fight over the long-haul because the union has to challenge unfettered corporate greed.”

Unite estimates that the imminent round of 48-hour strike action will involve around 200 Bilfinger contractors working on BP and Repsol assets, while around 650 Stork offshore members will join the stoppage due to no improved pay offers.

Around 200 offshore workers employed by Sparrows will also take part in the strike action. Unite can confirm that this excludes our members on the BP units (Andrew, Etap, Clair, Clair Ridge, Glen Lyon and Mungo) and Enquest units (Heather, Magnus and Thistle) due to separate pay offers having being accepted by the membership.

Unite members working for Petrofac on the Ithaca FPF1 in addition will strike over the 48-hour period along with members employed by the Wood Group on the TAQA installations. This action jointly covers around 150 members in total. 

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: “We are witnessing the biggest wave of industrial action in a generation in the offshore sector. 

Whether it is over improved pay, fairer and safer working rotas or holidays, Unite members remain fully prepared to fight on for a better deal.  Around 1200 offshore workers will take part in the latest phase of offshore industrial action, and believe us when we say this is causing widespread disruption to the operations of oil and gas corporations.”

The latest strike action follows a previous 48-hour stoppage (24-26 April) which caused ‘severe’ problems for major oil and gas operators. Due to the strike action taken by Unite members there was widespread disruption which led to installations being shut down. Unite understands this included the CNR Ninian Central and Ninian South platforms while other platforms were disrupted due to planned works having to be delayed.


Notes to Editors: 

For a full list and more background information on Unite’s offshore disputes click here.

Strike schedule

Bilfinger UK Limited: Commencing at 06:30 hours on  10th May 2023 and continuing up to 12th May 2023 when the action will conclude at 05:29 hours’.

Petrofac (Ithaca) dispute 0600 hours on 10th May 2023 until 0559 hours on the 11th May 2023, and 0600 hours on 12th May 2023 until 0559 hours on the 13th May 2023.


Sparrows Offshore Services Limited: Commencing at 06.30 hours on 10th May 2023 and continuing up to 12th May 2023 when the action will conclude at 06.29 hours’.

Stork Technical Services UK Limited: Commencing at 06:30 hours on 10th May 2023 and continuing each day up to 12th May 2023 when the action will conclude at 06:29 hours’.

Wood (TAQA) dispute 0600 hours on  10th May 2023 and continuing up to 12th May 2023 when the action will conclude at 0559 hours.