UK North Sea oil workers vote to end strikes

OREANDA-NEWS. September 23, 2016. Trade union members working across eight Shell-operated platforms in the UK North Sea are no longer threatening strike action, following an agreement between unions and oil services provider Wood Group.

Members of the UK's Unite union voted 105 to 82 in favour of accepting a revised set of proposals, the union said today. "Our negotiations with Wood Group allowed us to reduce the levels of cuts being proposed to our members' wages and terms and conditions. We were able to secure improvements to competency payments and the introduction of a flexibility payment. Threats to life insurance, health care and sick pay have been removed."

Unite and the RMT union conducted at least two strikes earlier this year, and had planned several more 12-hour and 24-hour strikes, in opposition to proposed pay cuts of up to 30pc by the Wood Group for its members. The smaller RMT has yet to comment.

But the strikes were put on hold after the parties agreed to hold a number of meetings in August to "take a fresh look at the issues", following calls for urgent talks from both sides.

Following a second round of talks, Unite announced in early September that Wood Group had "made concessions in key areas" and that it would put the fresh proposals to its members for voting, calling it "the best that can be achieved in the current circumstances".

Shell's Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo, Brent Charlie, Brent Delta, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater and Curlew platforms were all affected by the strike action, although there was no impact to production according to the firm.