Shell’s offshore workers in North Sea started 24 hours strike, protesting against the plant to cut their pay and allowances. About 400 Wood Group maintenance workers on seven offshore oil production platforms operated by Royal Dutch Shell will take part from the first massive strike in North Sea since 1988. The affected offshore rigs are Gannet, Nelson, Shearwater, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie. The labor unions in the North Sea announced that their members won’t work overtime on Monday, and will begin a full-fledged 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday. Moreover, the further stoppages and industrial actions are planned during the coming weeks. However, the planned industrial strike will not affect the production of the platforms, or at least in the early stages.
“After savage redundancies and attacks on workload and working conditions this group of offshore workers are now told that they are going to be railroaded into accepting pay cuts of up to 30%. They have voted overwhelmingly to reject this assault on their livelihoods and from 6.30am the strike action begins”, said RMT general secretary, Mick Cash. “We are well aware that the company Chief Executive has had a pay increase of 28% to bring him up to 600,000 GBP. It is obscene that while the top bosses are lining their own pockets they are kicking the workforce from pillar to post”, added he.
The offshore workers are unhappy about plans for further pay cuts and a recent switch to a three-week working cycle. Currently, there are no planned meetings between Shell, Wood Group and the trade unions.
However, the Shell’s spokesman responded immediately about information for industrial strike: “This action is highly regrettable. Shell’s priority is to ensure the safety of our workforce and assets and we will not compromise on safety during this period of industrial action. While we recognize the right of Wood Group’s employees to strike, it is clear that in order for the North Sea oil and gas industry to remain competitive in the lower oil price environment, structural change is needed. We hope that Wood Group’s employees and management will continue working towards reaching a solution which will halt this counter-productive industrial action.”