Culzean workers signal willingness to strike over bonuses

The Culzean installation in the North Sea
The Culzean installation in the North Sea

Workers on Total’s Culzean project have shown their willingness to down tools to secure a completion bonus.

The Unite trade union said 100% of members who took part in a “consultative” ballot, which closed today, said they were prepared to go on strike.

The union will now start putting the wheels in motion for a “formal” strike action vote.

Unite had asked for a job completion bonus to be put in place for workers for Wood, Semco Marine and Bilfinger Salamis on the platform.

The French oil giant launched a “pay incentive scheme” on Wednesday to curb concerns over bonus pay.

It follows a similar system being put in place on Equinor’s Mariner platform, which helped avert strike action earlier this year.

John Boland, regional officer for Unite union, said: “In a consultative ballot that closed at 12 noon today, Friday 12th October, Unite member employed by Bilfinger, Semco, and Wood have overwhelmingly voted for an industrial action ballot, to secure a bonus on the Total Culzean project.

“100% of members on a 81% return, have indicated that they are willing to take industrial action. We will now discuss with our Unite shop stewards, how we take this ballot result forward.”

According to Mr Boland, a deal on bonus pay is yet to be negotiated between the union and Total, but said that workers are ready to strike over anything “imposed” by the operator.

He said: “Total believe they can just impose something, and it will be accepted. This result shows they are wrong, our members on the Culzean project want a fair and substantial bonus.

“Total and the three contractors, Bilfinger, Semco and Wood, need to come to the table and negotiate a bonus that will be acceptable to our members or risk industrial action.”

Total has been contacted for comment.