UK offshore workers strike suspended for fresh talks

Shell's Brent Alpha platform

Industrial action by Wood Group’s offshore workers has been suspended to allow for fresh talks between the company and the unions, the RMT union has said. 

To remind, Wood Group’s workers on Shell’s seven North Sea platforms participated in two strike actions in a dispute over proposed cuts on pay and allowances.

Hundreds of offshore workers involved in the strike action carry out maintenance and repair on the Brent Alpha, Bravo and Charlie platforms, Gannet, Nelson, Shearwater, and Curlew.

Earlier this week, after new strike dates had been set, Unite the union called for urgent talks with Wood Group to avert further strike action in the North Sea planned for later this month on all seven North Sea platforms.

The RMT said on Thursday that, following further discussions with Wood Group, the company has agreed to stop the implementation of the current proposals to allow fresh engagement and talks.

As a result of this development, all industrial action has been suspended to allow the discussions to take place and the members of the union were requested to work normally.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate you and your colleagues for your strength and determination which has brought about this positive development.”

Cash also added:“Talks will begin next week which we hope will bring about a satisfactory resolution and I will keep members informed as matters progress.”

“For these talks to be successful, it is essential to create a constructive environment in which they can take place.”

In a joint statement, Unite the Union, RMT Union and the Wood Group said: “We will hold a number of full-day meetings over the next few weeks, starting early next week, to take a fresh look at the issues. All parties recognize that the challenges we are facing in the North Sea are both real and serious and there is acceptance that change is required and will happen.

“These fresh talks will allow all parties to bring ideas to the table and provide opportunities for employees in particular, along with unions and management, to contribute to a mutually successful outcome and demonstrate leadership in shaping the future of the North Sea.”

The statement also said: “For these talks to be successful, it is essential to create a constructive environment in which they can take place. Wood Group has therefore agreed to stop the implementation of the current proposal for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks, and in response to this RMT and Unite have agreed to suspend any further strike action for the duration of this fresh engagement and talks.

“During this period, and to facilitate open and honest discussions, neither Wood Group nor the unions will make any public statements in relation to this matter.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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