300 TotalEnergies UK Offshore Workers Set To Go On Strike

Approximately 300 offshore workers of Semco Maritime and Ponticelli UK who are employed in TotalEnergies’ North Sea assets in the United Kingdom are about to go on a strike, after they voted in favor of the same, after a dispute over cuts to terms and conditions, confirmed the trade union Unite.

Courtesy: TotalEnergies

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The members of Unite, who work on Alisa FSO, Dunbar, Culzean, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, Shetland Gas Plant and North Alwyn are now all set to take strike action which includes an overtime ban, starting from early December, going all the way into late February, 2022.

The members of Unite from Semco Maritime voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a return of 61.4%, while its Ponticelli UK members voted to take strike action by 93.6%. on a 64.8% return.

Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite said, “Unite members at Ponticelli/Semco have made their intentions clear in the ballot. They are going to push back against this attack on their jobs, pay and conditions. Those making the decisions within these companies clearly lack experience and sound judgment. They need to rethink their proposals and come back with an improved offer. Otherwise, they are going to face determined industrial action which will be supported all the way by the union.”

“Unite members are beyond angry and frustrated. We now see that Unite was right when we raised concerns about the inexperience of these two companies and that that inexperience would result in cost cutting for our members’ terms and conditions as well as jobs. These workers have worked through the Covid pandemic, losing leave days while involved in Covid testing and while in isolation, they are the people that have kept North Sea platforms producing oil and gas for Total. But now that oil and gas prices are at a new high, vaccines have greatly reduced the impact of Covid, and Total are making millions in profits, our members are being asked to accept cuts to their terms and conditions and redundancies. The only way our members can stop these attacks on pay and conditions is to fight for them. This ballot result is a clear mandate that our members will not accept this appalling treatment,” added John Boland, regional officer at Unite.

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PBS, an Aberdeen-based consortium which consists of employees from Ponticelli, Semco and Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services mentioned that they are aiming for redundancy proposals which could subsequently lead to a 10% reduction in its headcount. Unite has in the past too, though not related to job cuts, have raised its voice against slashes proposed to pay where the terms and conditions have resulted in a drop in workers pension of up-to £40,000 ($53,750).

“While disappointed with the result of the ballot, we will continue to work closely with our employee representatives and unions to achieve the solutions which best meet the needs of all parties from the consultation. The decision to make changes to anyone’s terms and conditions is not taken lightly, and we are appreciative of the efforts that have gone into ensuring assets have been able to operate since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Andreas Christophersen, the director of PBS.

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