Energy Voice | BREAKING: North Sea strikes to continue until end of October

North Sea strike action will continue until the end of October if a resolution cannot be met, according to a union boss.

Further talks broke down today between Unite and Total, which were aimed at bringing a resolution to the dispute on the Alwyn, Elgin and Dunbar platforms.

Unite has now announced an extra five days of strike action will be carried out, unless an agreement can be reached.

Workers have been carrying out a series of strikes in a dispute centred on changes to offshore rotas.

Further action has already been planned for Monday 13th and 20th this month, but Unite confirmed workers are prepared to carry out at least five more days of action running until the end of October.

They will take place September 3 and 17, October 1, 15 and 29.

All five days will involve 12-hour stoppages.

Unite met with Total today however, talk were “not productive”.

Regional officer Wullie Wallace said: “We did have talks with Total however they were not very productive.

“We will speak to our members but Monday’s dispute is still going on as planned.”

Members voted to carry out strikes following an announcement the North Sea operator wanted to move offshore rotas from two weeks on, three weeks off to three on, three off (3/3).

It comes after Total bought Maersk Oil earlier this year, resulting in a number of workers carrying out different rotas across its work sites.

As a result, the firm wants to make the rotas more uniform.

However, Mr Wallace said there needs to be movement on this front for any strike plans to be called off.

“Total’s position remains the same. At the moment, their position is still fixed around the rota that they want.

“We would need to see some movement around the rotas.

“Members said they want another five days of action.

“The reps offshore consulted the members and that’s what they want to put in place.

“Total has now been notified, they said they have received their letter.

“If we can secure a resolution that would be ideal but at the moment that looking to be a bit off.”

Total has been approached for comment.

The latest production data on the Oil and Gas Authority’s website indicates that the three fields pump out more than 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day combined.

At today’s Brent price, that equates to around £4million a day.

The operator has previously said “what is at stake is to ensure the sustainability of our business in the North Sea, to enhance safety and remain the most efficient in our operations”.

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