Wood Group CEO: Disappointed by Strike Action, Respects Employees' Choice
Despite attempts at a resolution between unions and Wood Group, workers at Royal Dutch Shell platforms in the North Sea plan to go ahead with their planned strike on Tuesday.
“Our employees’ safety and wellbeing remains our top priority and our commitment is to ensuring it is not compromised during industrial action,” Dave Stewart, CEO for Wood Group’s eastern region business unit, said in an emailed statement to Rigzone. “Although we are extremely disappointed that industrial action will be taken, we respect the right of those employees who choose to do so.”
Reuters previously reported that nearly all of Wood Group’s maintenance workers who voted on a ballot carried out by Unite and RMT labor unions wanted to take industrial action over disputes of pay and working conditions.
On Friday, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) general secretary Steve Cotton released a statement backing North Sea workers in their decision to strike.
“Workers for Wood Group across Shell’s North Sea oil and gas platforms have overwhelmingly spoken. The company will now have to live with the consequences,” said Cotton. “Perhaps it will now see the need to reconsider its plans to slash the pay of these offshore workers, restrict their leave and increase their work – all on top of recent harmful redundancies.”
Stewart said Wood Group is continuing to engage openly with its employees and met as recently as Friday with union representatives. Senior management also visited impacted installations over the weekend to speak with employees “with the clear aim of positively progressing discussions towards reaching a resolution.”
“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,” Stewart said.
Reuters reported that Shell does not expect any interruption from production due to the strike.
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