UK union ‘concerned’ over Wood Group-AmecFW merger

UK’s offshore union Unite wants full disclosure on any employment plans that are part of Wood Group’s planned takeover of oil and gas operator Amec Foster Wheeler announced on Monday. 

UK-based energy services company Wood Group made a $2.7 billion worth offer to acquire its compatriot consultancy, engineering and project management company, Amec Foster Wheeler.

Commenting on the planned takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler, Unite regional officer John Boland, said on Monday: “Our members in both companies will have concerns about today’s news. It is disappointing that the first our members are hearing about this takeover, which affects their future employment, is through the media. Yet again share prices are put first and the employees last.

“Unite is clear – we will make sure the rights of our members are protected during any transfer of employment, and we will fight to defend their jobs and pay.

“We also have concerns that two of the largest employers in the North Sea are going to merge, and the impact this will have on opportunities for employment in a struggling North Sea.”

“Those companies who invest in their workers and see them as genuine partners will reap the benefits in the future. Those who don’t will earn themselves a poor reputation, and that will lead to difficulties in recruitment and retention.

Boland ended his statement by calling on both companies to engage with the union.

Rystad Energy, an energy intelligence group, noted on Monday that this merger would create a clear market leader within the engineering and MMO-market, with a market share twice as large as its competitors and a combined workforce of 64,000.

The group also claimed that the new company would rank as one of the top 15 oilfield service companies in the world.