Socialist Worker

Workers on Shell North Sea rigs are 'sick fed up'—now they want to strike

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2508

The Brent C platform in the North Sea

The Brent C platform in the North Sea (Pic: HamishIrvineFlickr)

North Sea oil workers on Shell platforms are balloting for strikes. They are employed by oil services giant Wood Group, which is slashing jobs and conditions.

The Unite, RMT and GMB unions are coordinating the ballot of over 200 workers.

Worker Frank told Socialist Worker that people are “sick fed up”. “Everything is just cut, cut, cut—but not at the top,” he said.

“Bosses aren’t taking a 30 percent pay cut. And safety right now is a pile of crap.” Another 40,000 jobs are set to go by the end of this year, pushing the total to 120,000.

Frank said six months ago no one was talking about strikes.

But this is the third set of redundancies in a year and bosses have driven through new, longer shift patterns but kept their own perks.

“They want us to do more work for more time but less money. Something’s got to give.

“At first people were prepared to take cuts but the companies are taking advantage of that. Now everybody is talking about strikes. We’ve got to do something.

“We absolutely have to vote yes in this ballot.”

The ballot opens on Wednesday and runs until 13 July.

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