Scotland business

Unite warns of strike by North Sea oil contractors

Rig in north sea Image copyright Reuters

Offshore contractors are to be balloted on possible industrial action in a row over changes to working conditions.

Unite members of the Offshore Contractor Association (OCA) failed to agree with employers on proposals to alter shift patterns and cut pensions.

Several oil and gas firms operating in the North Sea have announced plans to axe jobs and reduce salaries.

Unite said "knee jerk cuts to jobs and standards" would undermine "future prosperity and safety" in the industry.

About 2,500 workers, including electricians, plumbers, mechanics and riggers, will be asked to consider a range of responses, including strike action.

Unite industrial officer Tommy Campbell said: "The downturn in oil price has seen our members' terms and conditions under attack like never before and while the threat of severe cuts hangs over them, contractors are offering no safeguards in return.

"What we want is for the OCA to work with us to preserve jobs, skills and sustain offshore safety rather than impose these opportunistic, unsustainable and unworkable changes to livelihoods.

"Oil prices will recover but knee jerk cuts to jobs and standards will only undermine the future prosperity and safety of the industry in the long-term."

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