NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Offshore dispute: New proposal from unions and Wood Group

Shell worker at Brent field in North Sea Image copyright Shell
Image caption Workers on seven Shell platforms have been involved in strike action

A "mutually agreeable proposal" has been drawn up between unions and the Wood Group in a bid to end a dispute involving offshore workers.

Both 48-hour and 24-hour strikes have already been held on seven Shell-operated platforms.

Further action was planned but was put on hold for fresh talks.

Following a "series of in-depth discussions", the new proposal will now be put to members of the Unite and RMT unions next week.

The initial 24-hour strike on 26 July was the first industrial action of its kind in the North Sea in nearly 30 years and was followed by a 48-hour stoppage the following week.

A Wood Group spokesperson said: "Wood Group representatives, officials from the Unite and RMT unions and shop stewards have now drawn up a mutually agreeable proposal which we consider to be in the best interests of all parties.

"The new proposal recognises the skills, flexibility and capabilities of the incumbent offshore workforce, the challenges facing the industry and demonstrates collective leadership in shaping the future of the North Sea."

Best proposal

Unite regional officer John Boland said: "Throughout this dispute, our members have remained united and strong in defence of their pay and conditions, and we have always made clear that we were open to meaningful negotiations.

"As ever, we will guided by our members, but Unite and the offshore shop stewards believe that this proposal is the best that can be achieved in the current circumstances."

Paul Goodfellow, Shell UK and Ireland Upstream vice president, said: "Shell is pleased with this proposal and looks forward to working with Wood Group, Unite and the RMT to ensure that the North Sea remains competitive."

The platforms involved were the Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo, Brent Charlie, Nelson, Gannet and Shearwater.

Aberdeen-based Wood Group provides maintenance and construction to Shell and signed a three-year extension to its contract earlier this year.

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