More offshore workers expected to take industrial action

Fresh plans for industrial action on some North Sea platforms have been announced by the trade union Unite.

The union said its Petrofac members working on BP platforms have voted for action in a row over rotas.

Unite said 100% of those who voted backed taking action, on a turnout of 75%, with the dates to be announced in due course.

According to the union, the dispute centres on people working three weeks on, three weeks off (3:3) rotas.

They are calling for a change in rota to the 3:4 system or for three weeks of paid holidays to ensure they have more time off.

The dispute is separate from the ongoing industrial action involving Unite’s membership at the Shetland Gas Plant and the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms, the union said.

John Boland, regional industrial officer at the union, said: “Unite’s Petrofac members working on all BP platforms have voted emphatically for industrial action.

“By 100%, the workforce are rightly demanding that their rotas be changed from the hated 3:3 and to have more time off with their families.

“So, we call on BP and Petrofac to listen to our members’ reasonable request, and to put the welfare of their workforce first.”

A Petrofac spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that Unite members based on BP assets have chosen to reject a proposal to add two weeks paid holidays to terms and conditions, voting instead in favour of industrial action.

“Having worked closely with our client to develop this offer, we believe the proposal provides a fair and reasonable compromise.”