North Sea strike talks: Wood Group, unions come up with proposal

A proposal has been prepared by the oil services company Wood Group and two UK’s unions in a bid to end a dispute over cuts in pay and allowances for offshore workers on Shell’s North Sea platforms. 

Following the 24-hour and 48-hour strike actions on Shell’s platforms in late July and early August, further action was postponed for talks to be held between Wood Group and the two UK unions, RMT and Unite. According to the unions, the workers faced losing up to 30% in pay and allowances.

Unite and the RMT union have had five meetings with Wood Group since the unions decided to suspend their industrial action on 12 August for further negotiations.

Unite reported on Tuesday it will ballot its members on a proposal that could end an industrial dispute that led to the first North Sea strike in a generation.

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Throughout this dispute, our members have remained united and strong in defense of their pay and conditions, and we have always made clear that we were open to meaningful negotiations.

“The proposal we are putting to members will still involve a large degree of sacrifice on their part. Wood Group has made concessions on key areas of competency and flexibility payments that will reduce the impact of the cuts they originally put forward.

“As ever, we will guided by our members, but Unite and the offshore shop stewards believe that this proposal is the best that can be achieved in the current circumstances.”

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