North Sea strike action will continue until the end of October if a resolution cannot be met, according to a union boss.
Further talks broke down yesterday between Unite and Total, which were aimed at bringing a resolution to the dispute on the Alwyn, Elgin and Dunbar platforms.
Unite has now announced an extra five days of strike action will be carried out, unless an agreement can be reached.
Workers have been carrying out a series of strikes in a dispute centred on changes to offshore rotas.
Further action has already been planned for Monday 13th and 20th this month, but Unite confirmed workers are prepared to carry out at least five more days of action running until the end of October.
They will take place September 3 and 17, October 1, 15 and 29.
All five days will involve 12-hour stoppages.
Unite met with Total today however, the union said the talks were “not productive”.
Regional officer Wullie Wallace said: “We did have talks with Total however they were not very productive.
“We will speak to our members but Monday’s dispute is still going on as planned.”
Members voted to carry out strikes following an announcement the North Sea operator wanted to move offshore rotas from two weeks on, three weeks off to three on, three off (3/3).
Total said it has this week had the first meeting in a formal workforce engagement process on changing the rota, saying it is “committed” to meaningful discussions which could facilitate the new shift pattern.
It comes after Total bought Maersk Oil earlier this year, resulting in a number of workers carrying out different rotas across its work sites.
As a result, the firm wants to make the rotas more uniform.
However, Mr Wallace said there needs to be movement on this front for any strike plans to be called off.
“Total’s position remains the same. At the moment, their position is still fixed around the rota that they want.
“We would need to see some movement around the rotas.
“Members said they want another five days of action.
“The reps offshore consulted the members and that’s what they want to put in place.
“Total has now been notified, they said they have received their letter.
“If we can secure a resolution that would be ideal but at the moment that’s looking to be a bit off.”
A spokesman for Total said:“Total has initiated a formal consultation process to engage with its offshore workforce about changing its offshore rota to three weeks on/three weeks off. The first meeting took place this week, with good representation from all parties.
“The company remains committed to engaging in meaningful discussions on this matter, as well as on wider issues that could facilitate the implementation of the new rota. We are working toward a further meeting next week.
“What is at stake is ensuring the long term sustainability of our business in the North Sea, enhancing overall safety and remaining as efficient as possible in our operations.”
The latest production data on the Oil and Gas Authority’s website indicates that the three fields pump out more than 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day combined.
At today’s Brent price, that equates to around £4million a day.