Energy Voice | BREAKING: Strikes back on cards as workers ’emphatically reject’ Total pay offer

Unite workers have “emphatically rejected” a pay offer from Total, which were aimed at averting further North Sea strikes.

95% of members working on the Elgin, Alwyn and Dunbar platforms rejected the pay offer in a ballot, with the union saying it was “way off from agreement”.

It followed talks between Unite and Total last week held by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), which had seen the suspension of strike action.

A further meeting is scheduled for Thursday and if it is not successful then further strikes will be held, according to Unite.

The long-running dispute has seen a series of 12-hour and 24-hour stoppages on the rigs since July 23.

The dispute centres on plans by Total to introduce three weeks on, three weeks off (3/3) working patterns on the platforms.

Concern has been raised about the effects of the 3/3 rota on mental health.

Unite said more 12-hour stoppages are planned for September 17 and October  1, 15 and 29.

Total is aiming to put in place a uniform shift pattern across the business following its acquisition of Maersk Oil this year.

Details of the improved pay offer have not been disclosed but last month Total said it had offered a 15% pay increase to workers.

Regional industrial officer, Wullie Wallace said: “The emphatic vote to reject the revised pay offer by Total demonstrates that we are a significant way off from agreement.

“Unite is committed to returning to negotiations under the auspices of ACAS this week, however, based on the strength of feeling among our offshore membership this must surely lead to Total management seriously revising their strategy.

“If not, then prospective industrial action is inevitable and it will lead to further disruption of the company’s operations.”

Total declined to comment.

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