Around 200 Odfjell Technology (FRA: ND4) offshore workers will be balloted on strike action in a dispute over working rotas and paid annual leave.
Unite Scotland said the dispute involves crews on Equinor’s Mariner unit and TAQA units including Harding, Tern Alpha, East Brae, Brae Alpha and the North Cormorant.
Union members taking part include drillers, electricians, mechanics, and materials controllers.
Unite said the ballot, which opens today, will run for five weeks and on December 7.
Strike action could take place early next year if the ballots are successful.
In a statement, Unite said the dispute centres on “Odfjell’s refusal to reform working rotas and provide paid annual leave”.
The drillers currently work a three weeks on and three weeks off roster, which according to Unite leaves them at a disadvantage compared with other offshore workers on Equinor and TAQA assets.
According to Unite, other workers on the assets, including operator staff, caterers and construction staff, are scheduled on a rota of two weeks on and three off.
The union members are seeking the same two on and three off roster, Unite said.
Unite union says refusal to change rota a ‘scandal’
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the drillers deserved better conditions.
“Drillers are amongst the hardest working people in the offshore sector,” Ms Graham said.
“They also have to confront some of the most hazardous and dangerous environments, so the Odfjell drillers fully deserve to be paid the same time off as other offshore workers.
“It’s a scandal that Odfjell along with the operators Equinor and TAQA refuse to change their working rotas to put the drillers on the same footing as other workers on the installations.”
Unite industrial officer Vic Fraser said the dispute also involves concerns about work and life balance, fatigue and staff turnover.
“Odfjell has recently announced that their annual profits have more than doubled to £6.1m so this really isn’t about money,” Mr Fraser said.
In August, Odfjell Technology reported net profit of NOK 79.4 million for the June quarter.
The dispute comes months after a separate strike by almost 100 offshore workers employed by Odfjell Technology on board two flagship BP assets was averted after a deal was reached in February.
After extensive negotiations, the workers voted to accept a new working rotation and gained an extra three weeks leave, which Unite said was equivalent to around an 11.5% wage rise.
Aberdeen-based Odfjell Technology was spun off from Odfjell Drilling in 2022.
Energy Voice has contacted Odfjell Technology for comment.