OCG “strongly” backs Wood Group employees 48-hour strike

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The Offshore Coordinating Group said it “strongly” backs the strike action being taken by workers in dispute with Wood Group over changes to pay and conditions.

The group, which was set up across a number of unions in the wake of the oil downturn, said it was “essential” Wood Group returned to negotiations with an “open mind” in order to prevent further strike action going ahead.

North Sea workers voted overwhelmingly last month in favour of industrial action for the first time in more than 28 years.

North Sea 48-hour strike: What we know so far

Around 400 workers downed tools in the early hours of Thursday morning marking a 48-hour strike period.

Wood Group workers have raised concerns over changes to pay and conditions.

The company, which has made 10,000 redundancies globally since 2014, said the changes are necessary in order to remain competitive.

Steve Doran, of the OCG and Nautilus International, said: “The OCG strongly supports this strike action and is hugely disappointed that the Wood Group’s unreasonable and provocative approach to negotiations has rendered it inevitable. The unions asked for management’s current proposals to be removed for a period of time to facilitate meaningful dialogue. The Wood Group dismissed this practical offer out of hand.

“The OCG also notes, once again, that the Wood Group’s hostile approach to its workers stands in stark contrast to the shamelessly generous treatment of its senior executives and shareholders. The oil and gas unions have always understood the pressures on operators and contractors resulting from the low oil price but the Wood Group isn’t even pretending that the pain will be evenly shared.

“It is essential that the Wood Group returns to negotiations immediately and with an open mind.”