UK offshore sector braces for massive strike with over 1,600 workers set to down tools

Around 1,650 UK offshore contractors will begin two new rounds of 48-hour strike action next month in a bitter dispute over jobs, pay and conditions, Unite the union has confirmed.

The walkout will hit multibillion oil and gas operators including Apache, BP, Harbour Energy, Enquest, Ithaca, Repsol, Shell and TAQA and follows previous rounds of strike action in April and May.

Workers across five companies will now participate in strike action starting on June 1, ending on June 3, and then from June 8 to June 10. The prospective action includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders, crane operators, pipefitters, platers, and riggers working for Bilfinger, Stork Technical Services, and Sparrows Offshore Services.

Unite announced earlier that around 600 Bilfinger contractors on Ithaca, CNRI and TAQA assets rejected new pay offers. The trade union confirmed that the workers would participate in 48-hour stoppages along with 200 Bilfinger contractors working on BP and Repsol assets. Around 650 Stork offshore members will join the stoppages in June along with 200 offshore workers employed by Sparrows.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “An army of 1650 offshore workers are taking the fight to multibillion oil and gas corporations. The latest rounds of strike action in June will see the biggest group of offshore workers to date taking strike action.”

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