Scores of north-east workers at an offshore drilling contractor are facing deep pay cuts with Christmas just around the corner.
Unite regional officer Willie Wallace said Odfjell Drilling was issuing the proposals to workers today as part of a consultation.
Mr Wallace said 180 employees were affected by what he described as a “considerable reduction in terms and conditions”.
Odfjell, which has a base in Altens, Aberdeen, said in a letter to employees – seen by Energy Voice − that the amendments to terms and conditions were necessary to “align with the current market environment”.
Odfjell said whilst it had recently secured new contracts, market conditions meant costs needed to be reduced for it to remain competitive as the oil price remains unstable.
In October, Odfjell said it had clinched a deal to perform drilling and maintenance work on EnQuest’s Magnus platform in the UK North Sea.
The company said in June that its Aberdeen business would recruit another 100 people after it won a contract with Taqa to provide services on five North Sea platforms.
In 2014, it secured a four-year contract extension to provide platform drilling services with BP in the UK North Sea, taking the contract renewal date to December 2018.
According to the letter from operations manager Donald MacLeod, dated November 29, Odfjell wants bring all offshore employees’ terms and conditions in line with a set of standards which have been in place for new starts for about seven months.
A worker told Energy Voice the proposals involved the complete removal of health care and travel money, a 50% drop in sick pay and, in some cases, a 10% basic wage cut.
Mr Wallace said the basic wage cut would be “different for different people”.
He said the changes would be badly received by the workforce and were “unnecessary at this time”.
He added: “The workforce played its part previously in changing rotas and working extra shifts for no extra payment and are now saying, ‘enough is enough’.
“Unite awaits feedback from its members before meeting Odfjell again next week.”
Odfjell has been contacted for comment.