North Sea strikes protest pay cuts, working conditions
LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) – A planned walkout by around 400 Wood Group oil and gas maintenance workers employed at Shell’s North Sea platforms on Tuesday is not expected to interrupt production from the facilities, operator Shell said.
The 24-hour strike action will start at 0530 GMT on Tuesday in protest against pay cuts and tougher working conditions enforced by oil companies due to the collapse in oil prices.
The strike will be the first staged by Unite’s North Sea oil members in 28 years, the union said. Workers affiliated with the RMT union are also taking part.
“We don’t envisage any impact in terms of production tomorrow or later in the week,” a Shell spokesman said.
The platforms affected are Brent Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew and Shearwater, plus Shell’s Brent Delta platform, which is being decommissioned.
As many as 120,000 oil workers are expected to have lost their jobs by the end of this year in an industry-wide bid to lower costs as weak oil prices have reduced profits.
Worker have already agreed to refuse to work overtime from Monday and will also stage several three-hour strikes over the following weeks.
Shell said it did not anticipate any impact on production or maintenance schedules from these.
Wood Group said it was still trying to resolve the dispute after senior managers visited the affected sites over the weekend.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)