Striking will return to the North Sea as 130 Petrofac and Wood staff are to down tools next week in disputes over working conditions and pay.
Unite the Union has said that around 50 of its members employed by Petrofac and around 80 additional Wood staff will be taking part in the action.
The Wood action will begin 48 hours of action on 19 June regarding a pay dispute while Petrofac union members will take 24 hours of action from 21 June based on rotas.
This comes a week after 700 Bilfinger secured a pay rise following industrial unrest.
Despite Bilfinger workers securing a pay rise, 200 Stork and Sparrows workers were taking part in 48 hours of strike action.
Who and where?
The disgruntled Petrofac workers are based in the FPF1 platform in the North Sea, operated by Ithaca Energy.
The Wood staff are working on the Cormorant Alpha, North Cormorant and Tern Alpha, operated by TAQA.
Among the Wood staff are electrical, production and mechanical technicians along with pipefitters, platers, riggers and deck crew.
Unite is demanding the reinstatement of a 10% cut to salaries made by the Wood in 2015, which the union says is worth around £7,000 a year, and an enhanced redundancy and retention scheme.
A Wood spokeswoman said: “We believe that the enhanced offer presented to employees is fair, reasonable and meets their specific grievances.
“In addition to the 15% retention payment, the permanent salary uplift of 6% is on top of various Energy Service Agreement (ESA) increases, which would equate to over 15% since January 2022.
“Wood respects the right for employees to participate in lawful industrial action and we are continuing to engage with our workforce, our client and union representatives to reach a resolution to the dispute.
“We are working alongside TAQA UK to ensure continued operational safety during the next industrial action.”
Petrofac workers are opposing Ithaca Energy’s ‘clawback’ policy of 14 days, Unite claims that this practice results in the equivalent of £6,000 lost income per person and is “significantly above the industry norm of 7 days.”
A Petrofac spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to resolving the dispute through constructive dialogue, whilst ensuring no increased risk to personnel or the environment during industrial action.”
John Boland, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite’s Petrofac members on the FPF1 platform, and Wood Group members on TAQA platforms are absolutely determined to fight on.
“These disputes are based on the failure by both the contractors and operators to provide a good working environment.
“Whether that relates to salary cuts, working rotas or enforcing draconian clawback days, these companies can well afford to do far more and Unite will hold them to account.”
First of many
This is to mark the first in a series of stoppages from Unite members employed by the two businesses.
Wood will see more waves of 48 disruptions, starting 28 June, 3 July and 12 July.
Petrofac will also be continuing the action with more 24-hour periods of unrest, these will take place on 23, 26, 28 and 30 June and 10, 12 and 14 of July.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The trend is crystal clear. Offshore workers are taking a stand and they are winning better jobs, pay and conditions. Unite’s members at Petrofac and the Wood Group will have their union’s full support in the latest phase of their strike action.”