Socialist Worker

Oil rig action can beat bosses

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2513

North Sea oil rigs

North Sea oil rigs (Pic: flickr/tjodolv)


Hundreds of North Sea oil rig workers are set to strike on 26 July over pay cuts.

Members of the Unite and RMT unions working for the Wood Group on eight of Shell’s North Sea oil and gas platforms voted overwhelmingly for action.

Over 99 percent of Unite members and almost 99 percent of RMT members voted for strikes.

They are protesting against redundancies, extra workloads, changes to rotas and pay cuts of up to 30 percent.

The Offshore Co-ordinating Group (OCG) was established to bring together trade union campaigns in the sector with the Unite, RMT, GMB, Balpa and Nautilus International unions.

OCG chair Tommy Campbell said, “The vote speaks volumes about the determination of these trade union members to defend their terms and conditions.

“The OCG calls upon other offshore workers not to be drawn into undermining this dispute by doing the work of striking workers.”

That is because bosses have been accused of recruiting scabs in the run-up to a strike. Shell considered using employment agency staff to work on platform helicopter decks.

Unite says Shell is engaging a “scab workforce” in a move it described as “extremely disturbing”.

There are 450 Wood Group workers employed on Shell platforms to carry out maintenance work.


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