UK drilling workers vote to strike over pay

Over 300 UK offshore drilling and contract maintenance workers employed by Archer, Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell have backed a strike action, labor union Unite has confirmed.

The industrial action, supported by 95% in a ballot turnout of 86%, comes after the workers rejected a 5% pay offer from the companies.

The strike, starting October 20 and 21, will involve a series of 48-hour stoppages every second week for the first eight weeks.

A further series of stoppages have been announced for November 3-4, November 17-8 and December 15-16, and could thereafter escalate to all-out strike action, the union warned.

A number of platforms will be impacted by the industrial action including BP Clair and Clair Ridge platforms, and also Equinor’s Mariner platform (pictured).

The pay dispute involves workers covered by the United Kingdom Drilling Contractors Association (UKDCA).

Vic Fraser, Unite industrial officer, said: “For years drilling companies have treated our members with contempt and in the process paid them a pittance. We will no longer tolerate this from an industry overflowing with record profits. Our members are now set to take industrial action in the coming weeks which will have a major impact on offshore platforms and drilling rigs.”

Unite members by 98% also supported action short of a strike. This could include an overtime ban from October 18, limiting the working day to 12 hours; no extra cover provided during scheduled field breaks, and the withdrawal of goodwill pre and post-tour briefings preventing handovers between shifts.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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