Photo: Elgin platform / © Total E&P UK

North Sea workers vote for strike over proposed rota changes

Unite Scotland offshore members employed by Aker and Petrofac have voted for industrial action on the Elgin-Franklin, Shetland Gas Plant, North Alwyn, and Dunbar offshore platforms, protesting against the proposed rota changes from 2:3 to 3:3.

Illustration: Elgin platform / © Total E&P UK

Unite on Friday said 200 of its members voted as follows: the Elgin-Franklin platform voted by 88.2% for industrial action; Shetland Gas Plant by 95.1%, and North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms by 93.9%.

The dispute, Unite says, centers on Aker and Petrofac proposing to change the shift rotation from 2:3 to a 3:3/3:4 rotation, and to reduce the existing terms and conditions at the direction of parent company Total.

Unite members have taken the step to retain the 2:3 rota or be compensated for moving to the new rota. Workers have also been frozen out of the existing competency scheme, which means that different rates will be paid for the same job, Unite said.

John Boland, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Aker and Petrofac, at Total’s bidding, are trying to force our members’ rotas being changed from 2:3 to the hated 3:3 or 3:4. Shamefully, workers are also being frozen out of the existing competency scheme that rewarded members for being more skilled and was a route to progression.”

“During this dispute, Aker and Petrofac have tried to split our members by offering uplifts to some but not all. However, Unite members have resolutely resisted these shameful attempts. The resounding votes across all three platforms demonstrate clearly that our members not only want to stay on their existing rota, but if they have to change they want fair compensation, and to retain the existing competency scheme.”