Unite Scotland has today (10 April) reacted with anger to the announcement by Archer to axe over 130 offshore jobs instead of using the UK government job retention scheme to furlough the workers.

The offshore oil services company made the decision despite repeated efforts by Unite to convince Archer Drillers to utilise the government’s scheme. The scheme provides that individuals are paid 80 per cent of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month effective from 1 March 2020 for a three-month period.

The proposed redundancies will affect the Alba and Captain installations that are operated by Ithaca, and the Claymore Alpha, Piper Bravo and Roving Crew, which are all operated by Repsol. Unite will continue to push Archer Drillers to reverse this decision on all redundancies and the trade union will now explore all legal options including the possibility of lodging unfair dismissal cases on behalf of the workers.

Unite regional officer Shauna Wright said: “Unite Scotland has been informed that Archer has shamefully decided not to utilise the government retention scheme for their workers. The company is looking to axe over 130 jobs through redundancy which is a devastating blow to a highly skilled workforce. We urge Archer to reverse this disgusting decision and to immediately look at how the government scheme can be used to support the workers during this difficult time by delaying the redundancies. If the company doesn’t do the right thing then Unite will consider all actions in order to support the workforce including the possibility of lodging unfair dismissal cases on their behalf.”


Notes to editors:

  • 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.