Offshore industrial action in Wood Group PSN

Circular No: NP/0191/16


HO ref: S2/6

26th July 2016

Dear Colleagues

Offshore industrial action in Wood Group PSN

Further to circular no.083/16 of 8th March 2016, the union’s industrial action against Wood Group PSN on the Shell platforms Shearwater, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie begins in earnest today, with the full support and solidarity of the entire union.

The action taken by RMT members and their fellow trade unionists in Unite against the Wood Group’s outrageous attempt to force through pay cuts of up to 30% will be loudly and consistently supported. That massive pay and contractual cuts are proposed for offshore workers whilst Wood Group executives receive 28% pay rises and private shareholders a dividend payment of £79m just goes to show the importance of organised labour in the face of corporate greed.

The union’s dispute with Wood Group, which imposed the dangerous 3-on 3-off shift pattern on staff working on the Shell contract in January, is the talk of the tea shacks across the UK Continental Shelf and in the boardrooms of oil and gas companies. After over 85,000 job losses in the last two years, offshore and supply chain workers know that the oil and gas industry profits from undermining industrial relations.

Through the formation of the Offshore Co-ordinating Group, trade unions are fighting back in order to secure future jobs and employment rights for all workers in the North Sea and the supply chain.

RMT and Unite’s industrial action in Wood Group has received the full support of the national and international trade union movement, from the ITF to our comrades in the Norwegian offshore union, IndustriEnergi. This is the first strike action in the offshore oil and gas industry since the early 1990s and if our members achieve victory here it will set a precedent across the offshore industry which employers (contractors as well as oil companies) will have to take notice of and respond constructively to.

The union has circulated a briefing to members of the RMT Parliamentary Groups in Westminster and Holyrood, alerting them to the background and significance of the industrial action our members in Wood Group PSN are taking, and asking for their support.

I would appreciate it if you could bring this circular to the attention of all Branch members and you will be kept updated with further developments.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary