Offshore unions have launched a ballot for industrial action on Wood Group over pay and conditions.
Unite, in conjunction with the GMB and RMT, will ballot several hundred workers on eight of Shell’s North Sea oil and gas platforms.
The dispute stems from the Wood Group’s proposal to cut pay up to 22%. Unite claims that once cuts to other allowances are added this amounts to a cut of 30%.
The union claims a level 2 Maintenance Technician now earns 6.9 per cent less per offshore day due to changes to holiday pay. Recent changes have also seen workers move to a three-week working cycle.
The ballot will open on June 15, and close at noon on July 13, with any industrial action commencing on July 20.
Unite regional officer John Boland, said: “Unite members are not immune to the challenges facing the oil and gas industry.
“We along with other trade unions in the offshore coordinating group have been leading the debate on the need to hold an emergency summit involving the Scottish and UK Governments, employers and trade unions to deliver greater support for the sector.”
“However due to the intransigence of the Wood Group seeking to impose pay cuts of up to 30 per cent then our members have been faced with no other option but to consider strike action.”
“We remain committed to negotiations with the company and urge them to get back round the table but they must be prepared to work with us to find an agreed settlement. If they do not respond positively then Unite will resolutely act to support and protect our members.”
In a statement, Wood Group said: “Our priority has always been and remains, the safeguarding of long-term employment opportunities for our employees on these assets. We are strongly committed to working closely with our employees and the unions to meet our mutual goal of sustaining these jobs in the North Sea, now and in the future.
“The terms and conditions under review have been approved by the OCA and the recognised unions. During the consultation process we have attempted to reach an agreement with our employees by offering an enhancement to these terms and conditions, aligned with their competency and experience.
“We are extremely disappointed to be in this position during the consultation process and remain focused on continuing to engage with our employees and the unions to reach a positive resolution.”