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Date set for first North Sea oil strike in a generation

19 July 2016

A 24-hour strike of Wood Group oil and gas maintenance workers could disrupt operations at several Royal Dutch Shell platforms in the North Sea where they are employed, labour union Unite said on July 18. The strike action, scheduled for July 26, will be the first by UK North Sea workers in thirty years. 

Stock image
Stock image

The just under 400 workers will also undertake several three-hour strikes over the following weeks, a union representative said, adding that they anticipated that the action would severely disrupt operations.

The RMT and Unite unions said their members who work for Wood Group would stage the stoppage on 26 July over the firm's plans for "swingeing" pay cuts. Companies working in the North Sea have brought in tougher work schedules and pay cuts to make cost savings following the oil price crash.

The unions claim workers would suffer a cut to their pay and allowances of up to 30%, but that has been denied by Wood Group. Workers are also unhappy that a two-week working cycle has been changed to a three-week cycle without any increase in salary.

At total of seven Shell platforms will be affected by the strike of Wood Group maintenance staff: Brent Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew and Shearwater. Shell's Brent Delta platform, which is being decommissioned, is also included.

Shell said it was making contingency arrangements to ensure safety is not affected by the strike action. Wood Group said it was continuing to engage with employees and labour unions to reach a resolution.

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