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Unions suspend North Sea strike action, fresh talks to begin

Wood news
Wood news

Trade union and Wood Group have agreed to suspend strikes as they look to resolve an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions on seven of Shell’s North Sea assets.

A short statement released last night came after unions revealed dates for further 24-hour strikes across the rest of August and the beginning of September.

Around 400 maintenance workers have been involved with strike action for almost a month including one 48-hour strike as well as three-hour stoppages.

An overtime ban was also put in place until further notice.

The unions have now agreed to suspension of strikes while Wood Group has said it will not introduce the suggested proposals to contracts until a fresh agreement is reached.

A number of full-day meetings are expected to be held over the next few weeks, where both sides will take a “fresh look” at the issues concerning the dispute.

A spokesman for Wood group said: “All parties recognise that the challenges we are facing in the North Sea are both real and serious and there is acceptance that change is required and will happen.

“These fresh talks will allow all parties to bring ideas to the table and provide opportunities for employees in particular, along with unions and management, to contribute to a mutually successful outcome and demonstrate leadership in shaping the future of the North Sea.

“We believe that this collaborative approach to addressing the challenging and well-publicised situation in the oil & gas sector is the best way for us to resolve this current dispute and contribute to creating a sustainable model for the North Sea.

“For these talks to be successful, it is essential to create a constructive environment in which they can take place.

“Wood Group has therefore agreed to stop the implementation of the current proposal for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks, and in response to this RMT and Unite have agreed to suspend any further strike action for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks.”

Strike action would have affected the Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater, Brent Charlie platforms starting August 15th through to September 3rd.

A spokesman for Shell said:“We welcome this development and encourage Wood Group’s employees and management to continue their discussions in an effort to reach agreement.”

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