Workers began a 24-hour strike on three of energy multinational Total’s North Sea oil platforms.
This is the latest in a wave of strikes. Workers began a series of 24-hour and 12-hour strikes on 23 July.
The next 24-hour strike is planned for 20 August and the next 12-hour strike on 13 August.
The dispute is focused around changes to the workers’ shift patterns. Currently workers are on a two weeks on, two weeks off rota.
Bosses want to switch this to three weeks on, three weeks off.
The workers have also stopped overtime as part of their campaign. The affected platforms are Alwyn, Elgin and Dunbar.
The strikes are having a big effect on Total’s bottom line. According to the Oil and Gas Authority the combined production of all three rigs is estimated to be about 70,000 barrels of crude oil a day. That’s around £4 million a day at current prices.
On top of this, the three platforms contribute about 10 percent of Britain’s natural gas output.
Total has attempted to play down the effects of the strike. But bosses have talked of introducing “security measures” at the firm’s headquarters in Westhill, its Crawpeel House in Aberdeen, Shetland Gas Plant and its warehouses and quayside
Unite regional officer Wullie Wallace said talks are planned for this Thursday.