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Strike to Hit Shells North Sea Platforms

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Image by Nicolas Houhier

North Sea oil and gas workers are to strike for the first time in a generation.

Almost 400 members of Unite and RMT unions working for Wood Group across eight Shell oil and gas platforms in the North Sea are set to take the action in a dispute over 30% pay cuts and changes to allowances.

The first 24-hour stoppage will take place Tuesday, July 26 which will then be followed by a series of other stoppages over the following weeks.

This follows a 99.1% vote in favour of strike action by Unite members, and a 98.5% vote by RMT members.

It is expected the strike action, the first since the 1990s, will severely disrupt operations on the Shell platforms based in the North Sea’s Brent and Central oil and gas fields.

Union members are angry over Wood Group’s proposal to cut pay and allowances by up to 30%.

Recent changes have also seen workers move from a two-week working cycle to a three-week working cycle, which means working extra weeks offshore for the same salary.

Speaking to Offshore Post Wood Group’s CEO, Dave Stewart said:

“Our firm focus remains on reaching a resolution, which meets our mutual goal of sustaining these jobs for our employees in the North Sea now and in the future, against the backdrop of an extremely challenging climate created by the sustained low oil price,”

According to a statement by the RMT and Unite unions, the strike action will be taken across Shell assets in the Brent field at the following platforms: Shearwater, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie.