Unite workers begin strike on Total’s North Sea platforms

Following reports earlier this months that Unite workers will begin a strike on Total’s UK North Sea platforms, this is exactly what’s happened.

The Elgin Platform ©Total E&P UK
The Elgin Platform ©Total E&P UK

Total E&P UK, a UK subsidiary of the French oil major, on Monday confirmed that planned industrial action “has gone ahead on its Northern North Sea and Central Graben Area assets, despite the new proposals that were made by the Company.”

The workers are protesting against Total’s plan to make changes to the working practices and conditions.

Total on Monday said it was pleased to be able to continue discussions with staff at the Shetland Gas Plant and remain committed to further consultation and open dialogue with offshore staff.

“Once more, we would like to reaffirm that what is at stake here is to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business in the North Sea, to enhance overall safety and remain the most efficient in our operations,” Total added.

Earlier in July, Unite said its members working for Total would start a series of strike days on the North Sea oil and gas platforms operated by Total E&P. The Union then said a series of 24 hour and 12-hour stoppages would affect the three platforms Alwyn, Dunbar, and Elgin – all of which will be forced to cease production.

The dispute, Unite said, concerns the company’s wage review and its plans to force workers to increase their offshore working time.

According to Unite, a report by Robert Gordon University identified that workers on three-week, equal-time rotas were nearly twice as likely to experience ill health as those on two-on-two-off shifts. The three on/three off rota pattern is now worked by 56 percent of the workforce offshore, compared with just 17 percent working the same pattern in 2007.

Unite at the time said its members employed at Total’s Shetland gas plant have also voted for industrial action in a dispute over changes to their rota system.

Stoppages schedule as announced by Unite on July 5:

24 Hour Stoppages
• Starting at 06.00 hours on 23 July, 6 August, and 20 August.

12 Hour Stoppages
• Starting at 12.00 hours on 30 July and 13 August.

Offshore Energy Today Staff