OIL supermajor Shell has been accused of “unbelievable penny-pinching” after nearly 70 repair and maintenance (R&M) posts were cut at the St Fergus gas terminal, near Peterhead.
Shell’s contractors – Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) and Cape – had 220 R&M workers at St Fergus but the firms have both cut back staff at the gas plant.
WGPSN said it had reduced its R&M workforce by 37, while it is understood that nearly 30 Cape employees were affected.
It is also thought that nearly 50 Cape staff and 11 WGPSN workers have left Shell’s operations in Fife at Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay.
Unite union industrial officer Rab Sherry said he was concerned about the health and safety implications of the job losses, adding: “I think this is a cost-cutting exercise, which is a crazy idea.
“I think they are expecting poor weather, so they have told these guys they won’t be needed.
“They will probably offer the workers their jobs back in the summer and expect them to show loyalty.”
Mr Sherry said there was little chance of the workers finding new jobs before Christmas, adding: “It has to be down to money. It is unbelievable penny-pinching on Shell’s part.”
A Shell spokeswoman said: “There is no change to Shell’s ongoing maintenance programmes.
“Commitment to ensuring the safety of our people and infrastructure is the prime focus for the company.”