Shetland Gas Plant offshore workers vote for strike action

Over 95 per cent of offshore workers on the Shetland Gas Plant platform have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action, according the Unite union.

They were among over 200 staff on the Elgin-Franklin, North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms, operated by Aker and Petrofac, who were balloted.

Broken down the votes in favour were: Shetland Gas Plant – 95.1 per cent; North Alwyn and Dunbar – 93.9 per cent; Elgin-Franklin – 88.2 per cent.

The dispute centres on Aker and Petrofac proposing to change the shift rotation from a two-weeks-on/three-weeks-off to a three-on/three-off or three-on/four-off rotation, and to reduce the existing terms and conditions at the behest of parent company Total.

Unite members have taken the step to retain the two/three week rota or be compensated for moving to the new rota. Workers have also been frozen out of the existing competency scheme, which means that different rates will be paid for the same job.

Unite regional industrial officer John Boland said: “Aker and Petrofac, at Total’s bidding, are trying to force our members’ rotas being changed from 2-3 to the hated 3-3 or 3-4.

“Shamefully, workers are also being frozen out of the existing competency scheme that rewarded members for being more skilled and was a route to progression.

“During this dispute, Aker and Petrofac have tried to split our members by offering uplifts to some but not all. However, Unite members have resolutely resisted these shameful attempts.

“The resounding votes across all three platforms demonstrates clearly that our members not only want to stay on their existing rota, but if they have to change they want fair compensation, and to retain the existing competency scheme.”


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