Belfast Telegraph

Union urges fresh talks to prevent further strikes by North Sea workers

A union has called for fresh talks to try to avert more strikes by North Sea workers in a long-running dispute over pay.

Unite said the Wood Group should meet with officials otherwise workers will walk out again in the coming weeks.

Union members, who maintain and repair Shell platforms, have already taken industrial action in protest at cuts in pay and allowances.

Regional officer John Boland said: "Last week Wood Group refused to take these proposed cuts off the table in order to allow proper negotiations. Now we have been told that the company is not willing to have talks until next week at the earliest. We find that astonishing.

"The company needs to start taking this dispute seriously. No-one takes industrial action lightly, but our members are staying united in the face of this unwarranted attack on their pay and conditions. These further strike dates show their determination.

"We know the North Sea oil and gas industry is facing challenges, but companies have to realise that they can't prop up their profits or create a sustainable industry by attacking their workers."

Members of Unite and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are due to stage a series of strikes from August 15 to September 3 if the deadlock is not broken.