300+ Offshore Workers Back Strike Action

300+ Offshore Workers Back Strike Action
The prospective industrial action will hit several platforms and rigs.

London-based union Unite has announced that over 300 offshore drilling and contract maintenance workers employed by Archer, Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell have backed strike action. 

The mandate for industrial action follows Unite members rejecting a five percent pay offer, Unite noted, adding that the pay dispute involves workers covered by the United Kingdom Drilling Contractors Association (UKDCA).

According to Unite, 95 percent supported strike action in a ballot turnout of 86 percent. The strike action will start on October 20 and 21 and involve a series of 48-hour stoppages every second week for the first eight weeks, Unite outlined. The union has warned that the action could escalate to “all-out strike action”. 

The prospective industrial action will hit several platforms and rigs, including Alba North, Beryl Alpha, Beryl Field, Brae Alpha, Brent Alpha, Captain WPP, Clair, Clair Ridge, Claymore, Cormorant Alpha, Forties Alpha, Forties Delta, Maersk Innovator, Maersk Resolve, Magnus, Mariner, North Cormorant, Paul B Loyd Jnr, Piper Bravo, Tern Alpha, and Topaz/Cormorant Alpha, Unite highlighted.

Unite members were also said to have supported action short of a strike. This could include an overtime ban from October 18, limiting the working day to 12 hours, providing no extra cover during scheduled field breaks, and withdrawing goodwill pre and post tour briefings, preventing handovers between shifts, Unite pointed out.

“The offer on the table is a substantial real terms pay cut,” Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said in an organization statement.

“Our offshore members have their union’s full support in fighting for better jobs, pay and conditions,” Graham added.

Unite Industrial Officer Vic Fraser said, “Unite has an emphatic mandate for industrial action from our members covered by the UKDCA”. 

“The level of participation from our drilling members is totally unprecedented with Unite’s membership growing on a daily basis,” Fraser added.

“Our members are now set to take industrial action in the coming weeks which will have a major impact on offshore platforms and drilling rigs,” Fraser continued.

Rigzone has contacted Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), which describes itself as the leading representative body for the UK offshore energy industries, asking for comment on Unite’s strike announcement. At the time of writing, OEUK has not yet responded to the request.

Back in August, Unite revealed that it was balloting over 300 offshore drilling and contract maintenance workers covered by the UKDCA. The ballot opened on August 22 for a little over a month and followed Unite members rejecting a five percent pay offer, Unite highlighted at the time.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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