Workers stage walk-outs

North Sea strikes called as redundancy notices issued

Total  Elgin-Franklin platform

The Elgin-Franklin platform is among those targeted for strikes


Oil workers are to stage a series of walkouts after two companies issued redundancy notice amid a dispute over changing shift patterns.

Unite the union has announced further industrial action dates following a meeting with offshore operators Aker (Elgin-Franklin platform) and Petrofac (Alwyn and Dunbar).

The dispute centres on both companies proposing to change the shift rotation and reduce the existing terms and conditions.  

Aker and Petrofac have now issued redundancy notices and begun a consultation period on terminating and re-engaging all workers. A 30-day (Aker) and 45-day (Petrofac) consultation period will begin.

Unite has issued further dates for industrial action on the Elgin-Franklin, North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms consisting of two 24-hour stoppages on 19 March and 2 April.

The action follows the continuous ban on overtime which is scheduled to start on 11 March, and the three 24-hour stoppages already scheduled for 11 and 27 March and 12 April. 

John Boland, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Instead of responding to the legitimate concerns our members have over the imposition of the hated 3:3 or 3:4 rotas in a responsible and constructive manner, the companies have responded by serving redundancy notices.

“This disgraceful behaviour will not go unchallenged and for this reason we have had no option but to increase the scheduled days of industrial action. Unite will robustly defend the interests of our members and will confront any intimidation by Aker and Petrofac blow by blow until they see sense.”

Unite members at the Shetland Gas Plant are also considering further industrial action due to Aker serving redundancy notices to the workforce on the same basis. Further dates for escalated industrial action will be announced in due course. A series of 24 hour stoppages have already been announced at the Shetland Gas plant on 13 and 27 March, 10 and 24 April and 8 May. 

John Clark, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The severe actions taken by Aker at the Shetland Gas Plant shows complete disregard for Unite’s members. No constructive dialogue has been afforded through the period of negotiation with a take it or leave it attitude being stubbornly emphasised by Aker’s representatives.

“This draconian behaviour will be fiercely challenged and Unite will continue to defend the interests of all its members in the forthcoming dispute.”

Unite members on the Elgin-Franklin platform voted 88.2% for industrial action; Shetland Gas Plant by 95.1% and on the North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms by 93.9%.  


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