Unite Scotland Press Release

Immediate Release - 19 May 2023

600 Bilfinger workers reject new pay offers in offshore pay dispute 

Dozens of offshore installations will be hit in June as strike dates released

Unite the union announced today (19 May) that around 600 offshore members at Bilfinger UK Limited have rejected new pay offers, and confirmed fresh strike action will now take place in June.

New pay offers were rejected by Unite members based on the offshore assets of the operators Ithaca, CNRI and TAQA. The offers all constituted a basic pay increase of 6 per cent but with the current real inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.5 per cent this represents a significant real terms pay cut. 

These Bilfinger members did not participate in the previous round of 48-hour strike action involving 1200 offshore workers held on 10-12 May, as the pay offers were put to the membership. Around 200 Bilfinger contractors working on BP and Repsol assets however did participate in the strike action.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Unite’s offshore members working for Bilfinger have given a loud and clear answer to the company and oil operators. Simply put: below inflation pay offers from a sector awash with billions in record profits is unacceptable. Our members remain resolute in their fight to secure good jobs, pay and conditions across the offshore sector, and they will have Unite’s full support.”

Unite can confirm that around 800 Bilfinger contractors will now participate in two new rounds of strike action starting on 1 June (6.30am) and ending on 3 June (6.29am), and then from 8 June (6.30am) to 10 June (6.29am).

A number of oil and gas operators will be hit by the industrial action including BP, CNRI, Ithaca, Repsol and TAQA. Unite predicts that any strike action on the offshore installations will impact on production and planned work. Over 30 installations will be hit by 800 tradespersons not completing planned work (see notes to editor). 

Shauna Wright, Unite industrial officer, added: “Bilfinger and operators have attempted to play divide and conquer tactics but this has spectacularly backfired on them. Unite’s members remain united and solid.

800 Bilfinger workers across over thirty offshore installations will now take part in two new 48-hour stoppages in June. Our Bilfinger members are determined to secure pay increases which at the very least match inflation. The company and the operators have one last chance to resolve this before a new wave of industrial action hits dozens of offshore assets.”

Historic profits have recently been recorded by BP and Shell, who made a combined profit in the first quarter of 2023 touching £11.7 billion. Unite Investigates’ report released this week reveals that companies made £45 billion profit from the UK domestic energy system in 2022. If that money had been kept in public hands, it could have been used to save each household £1,800 on their energy bills


Notes to Editors:

Full List of offshore installations potentially impacted by any strike action:

Alba North, Andrew, Arbroath, AUK, Bleoholm, Brae Alpha, Captain FPSO, Captain WPP, Clair, Clair Ridge, Claymore, Clyde, Cormorant Alpha, East Brae, Eider, Etap, FPF1, Fulmar, Glen Lyon, Harding, Leman Alpha, Montrose, Ninian Central, Ninian South, North Cormorant, Piper Bravo, Seafox 4, Sean Papa, Sole Pit Clipper, Tartan Alpha, Tern Alpha, Tiffany and Unity and 4 Greenhole Place, Bridge of Don Industrial Estate, Aberdeen, AB23 8EU.