Petrofac workers will down tools for 48 hours at a series of BP and Repsol Sinopec assets across the North Sea today, as disputes over pay and rota patterns show no sign of resolution.
Workers employed by Petrofac onboard the Repsol Sinopec Resources UK-operated Montrose platform, as well as those on a swathe of BP installations, will down tools for 48 hours as part of two separate strike actions set to begin at 0600 on 29 December.
It follows a series of official and unofficial strike actions across the North Sea throughout the year, with unions warning that further action is likely to continue well into 2023.
According to Unite, the former dispute centres on the removal of a 10% equal time payment and years of below inflationary pay increases for Petrofac’s Montrose workers.
Issues around “payments for Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) medicals, mileage and stand in duties” have also played a part.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham last week said: “Unite’s members are watching offshore oil and gas giants mount up eye-watering profits. Instead of paying the workforce what they deserve because they are the ones ultimately generating these profits Petrofac Repsol are revelling in playing Scrooge.
“Unite supports, and will continue to support our members at Petrofac for as long as it takes for them to achieve a successful resolution.”
A Repsol Sinopec spokesperson said earlier: “We can confirm workers on some Repsol Sinopec-operated assets have chosen to take further industrial action. We continually review the remuneration of our offshore workforce and support fair compensation aligned with the market.
“Our priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our people.”
In a separate dispute, Unite members at Petrofac’s BP installations – including Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP, and the Glen Lyon FPSO – will also begin two day strike action across the same dates.
75 workers are expected to participate in the work stoppage as part of a dispute over working rotations, which are currently based on a three on, three off pattern.
Unite has said the strike action at both operator’s installations are likely to cause “considerable disruption”.
It follows extensive action by Petrofac workers on other Repsol Sinopec assets, the most recent of which was held shortly before Christmas.
The trade union has also warned that further action is being actively considered, which would extend the dispute into 2023.
Unite industrial officer John Boland told Energy Voice that further notices of strike action were already being submitted to Petrofac for Repsol Sinopec assets in January, including for Montrose, and that no new offers had been tabled in either of the disputes.
Speaking on behalf of the Petrofac workforce across the various installations, Mr Boland earlier said: “Unite’s members have been left with no choice but to take further strike action due to the indifference and intransigence shown by Petrofac management.
“Several rounds of 48-hour strike action will now take place following our members rejecting a latest pay offer which represents a real terms pay cut. The Petrofac workers are absolutely determined to continue with strike action because the company can easily afford to settle this dispute. We would encourage them once again to do so and allow these workers to get back on with the job.”
A BP spokesman said earlier: “While supplier personnel working on bp’s North Sea installations generally have to align with bp’s own three weeks offshore working pattern, it has always been and remains for the relevant employing company to determine how best to manage their own workforce, including working arrangements outside of those offshore periods.
“bp remains committed to working constructively across the basin, including through dialogue with our key suppliers, to ensure the North Sea remains an attractive place to work and invest.
“With regards the planned industrial action, our focus remains on the safety of our workforce and operations offshore.”