Unite the union has today (18 September) welcomed the decision by Shell to move to two weeks offshore and three weeks onshore (2/3) rotas following an extensive campaign by Scotland’s largest offshore union.

Shell will return to a rota of 2/3 from May 2019 after a consultation engaging the workforce including Unite representatives. The agreement will include performance pay to offset reductions in any take home income as a result of the shift pattern change. 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 3/3 off rota pattern is now estimated to be worked by 56 per cent of the workforce offshore, compared with just 17 per cent working the same pattern in 2007.
Unite is also currently in dispute with Total E&P on its the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin rigs with one of the main reasons being the company’s attempts to introduce 3/3 rotas.

Unite regional industrial officer John Boland said: “Unite has consistently highlighted the dangers of three week working offshore, and has been campaigning to get operators to move to better rotas for the welfare and health of our members.

"It is good to see that Shell has listened to Unite and the views of the wider workforce. We believe the findings of the RGU survey should be the platform for all offshore operators in deciding whether to move from three weeks offshore to two weeks offshore. Unite will continue to work with Shell, and its contractors, to implement this change to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our members.

"Unite’s campaign to end the 3 and 3 will continue to roll out. The union has raised a collective grievance with Petrofac on the BP platforms, and expects to do the same with the other contractors on these platforms. Further reviews of 3 and 3 are expected and Unite will actively engage on the issue. This campaign is about our members’ wellbeing and safety. We need to do everything possible to stop the use of this hated rota in the North Sea.”


For more information contact John Boland on 07918630435

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty