RMT workers vote for strike in North Sea

The UK’s RMT union workers employed by Wood Group have reportedly voted in favor of a strike action proposal.

Available info shows that Wood Group oil rig workers within RMT have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike, as well as in favor of an action short of a strike.

According to a message seen by Offshore Energy Today, the union has informed its workers working for Wood Group aboard Shell’s North Sea rigs that 67 out of 69 workers voted Yes to the question “Are you prepared to take strike action?”

Also, when asked if they were prepared to take industrial action short of a strike, 68 voted Yes.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to both, RMT and Wood Group, seeking more info. We will update the article if we get a response.


Update: July 13, 2016. 16:30 CET

Below is a joint statement issued by RMT and Unite unions:

Unite and RMT can today confirm that a ballot of Wood Group employees working across Shell operated assets, and coordinated between the unions has returned with a massive majority supporting industrial action.

The ballot results from both unions are well over the 50% turnout threshold and have huge majorities in support of industrial action in the form of strike and action short of strike. In the case of Unite 99.1% voted in favour of industrial action while 98.5% of RMT members voted to support industrial action.

Unite and RMT will now consult with Wood Group members across the Shell assets to discuss the timing and the nature of the action.

John Boland, Unite Regional Officer said; “Despite the best efforts of the Full time Officials and workforce Shop Stewards to broker a deal with the company, talks have failed to find an acceptable deal for the workforce. We now find ourselves forced down the route of industrial action and in the coming days the workforce will determine the timing and nature of that action. That said, we remain available for talks should the company wish to consider an alternative offer. However, any talks must respect the workers and especially with regards to exercising their democratic rights in a dispute situation. Therefore the move by Shell to engage a scab labour workforce through various agencies to cover any potential industrial action is extremely disturbing.”

Jake Molloy, RMT Regional Organiser said; “After two rounds of redundancy, the imposition of an additional 4 to 5 weeks of work annually, forced to work a 3:3 rota, the increase in workload, and the restrictions on leave, this battered and bruised workforce are being told they have to accept all of this with a reduction in salary of anything from 10 to 30%. The workforce message is clear, ‘Enough is Enough’ and it’s little wonder we find ourselves in this situation.”

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