North Sea oil workers gathered this morning in front of Shell’s offices in London to protest over plans to cut pay.
The demo followed a strike in July when around 400 offshore oil and gas workers employed by Wood Group and spread across seven Shell platforms, went on strike for 24 hours.
The demonstration, organised by unions RMT and Unite, follows Wood Group’s announcement of cutting pay by 30% after signing a £150 million contract with Shell.
Mick Cash General Secretary at RMT told ELN: “The Chief Executive of that company gets a 28% pay rise but then they’re doing a 30% pay cut for the workers, so it’s one rule for the workers who create wealth of these companies and another rule for the bosses.”
“People just can’t stand a 30% cut in their terms and conditions and their wages”, added Steve Todd, National Secretary at the RMT.
He went on: “The oil industry is having a bad time, yes we know but it’s on the up again it moves again and the oil price is going back up and it’s about time they recognise that and stop trying to take the money out of the workers’ pockets.
“Shell is the main contractor of Wood Group. Shell has just given Wood Group a big contract with £150 million. Those vast profits which Wood Group are making are being supported by Shell by putting money into their coffers all the time.”
In a response, Dave Stewart, CEO for Wood Group’s eastern region business unit said the firm is “hugely disappointed” that industrial action is taking place.
Shell also agreed the protest is “deeply disappointing”.
The London protest took place at the same time as a 48 hour strike started on the Brent Charlie platform in the North Sea.