Unite the union has today (5 July) announced a series of strike days on the North Sea oil and gas platforms operated by Total E&P. Following the overwhelming mandate for industrial action, there will be a series of 24 hour and 12 hour stoppages on the three platforms affected (Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin), all of which will be forced to cease production.

There will also be a continuous ban on overtime commencing at 00.01 hours on 23 July. The dispute concerns the company’s wage review and its plans to force workers to increase their offshore working time. 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 per cent of the workforce offshore, compared with just 17 per cent working the same pattern in 2007.

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.

Unite regional officer Wullie Wallace said: “The overwhelming vote in favour of strike action demonstrates the fury at Total’s proposals to impose changes to the working practices and conditions on its three platforms. There remains a closing window of opportunity for Total to behave responsibly and engage with Unite to revise its current offer. However, if Total does not wish to negotiate, then the company will be left in no uncertain terms of the strength of feeling of Unite members which will lead to widespread disruption of the company’s operations.”

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


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Wullie Wallace on 01224645271 or 07712444952.

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.