Offshore workers on Ithaca and TAQA platforms balloted for strike action

Feb. 15, 2023
More than 1,300 workers are being balloted across dozens of offshore installations, according to Unite the Union.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK — Offshore workers employed by Petrofac (on the FPF1 platform) and the Wood Group UK Ltd. (on TAQA platforms) are being balloted for strike action, Unite the Union reported Feb. 14.

The latest offshore disputes are part of a growing wave of industrial unrest hitting the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), the union said. More than 1,300 Unite members are involved in a series of disputes. This includes Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd. on bp's platforms, Odfjell Technology Ltd., Stork and Bilfinger.

The latest Petrofac Facilities Management dispute involves about 50 workers on the FPF1 platform, and it is centered on working rotas.

The FPF1 is located about 240 km east of Aberdeen in the Greater Stella Area production hub. It is owned and operated by Ithaca Energy (UK), a subsidiary of the Israeli-based Delek Group.

Offshore workers can be asked to work at any time for no additional payment. The operator Ithaca Energy has a "clawback" policy of 14 days, which is significantly above the industry norm of seven days, and 14 days financially is about equivalent to £6,000 ($7,221) lost income per person.

The ballot includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders and crane operators. 

In a separate dispute, Unite is balloting about 80 members working for the Wood Group UK Ltd. on TAQA platforms (Cormorant Alpha, North Cormorant and Tern Alpha). Unite is demanding the reinstatement of a 10% cut to salaries made in 2015 worth about £7,000 ($8.424) per year, and an enhanced redundancy and retention scheme. The ballot includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians along with pipefitters, platers, riggers and deck crew.

Both ballots run for four weeks opening on Feb. 17 and closes on March 17. Any industrial action could take place in early April following a successful ballot.


Photo 45185193 © Rawpixelimages |
Photo 33345951 © Edwardsamuel |
Photo 46666395 © Rawpixelimages |