Labor strikes planned for Total platforms in the North Sea

A trade group said the labor strike does nothing to support confidence about working or investing in the British energy sector.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  July 6, 2018 at 8:43 AM
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July 6 (UPI) -- Labor action taken against Total operations in the British waters of the North Sea won't build confidence for the oil and gas sector, a trade group said Friday.

Labor union Unite said a series of planned labor strikes would target the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms, operated by the French supermajor. Three full-day stoppages are planned July 26, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20. Two 12-hour strikes are planned July 30 and Aug. 13. A continuous ban on overtime hours begins July 23.

"The overwhelming vote in favor of strike action demonstrates the fury at Total's proposals to impose changes to the working practices and conditions on its three platforms," Wullie Wallace, the regional leader for Unite, said in a statement.

Deirdre Michie, the chief executive at the trade group Oil & Gas UK, said in response to questions emailed by UPI that all parties should find a swift resolution.

"Industrial action is not helpful for our industry, which is constantly competing with other oil and gas basins for investment that will stimulate new activity and help secure jobs for the long term," she said.

The French supermajor said production from the region 30 years after initial discoveries has topped 1.2 billion barrels.

Field maturation has forced the idling of several production platforms and Royal Dutch Shell is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar plan to take them down. After the Dutch supermajor in January made a final investment decision for its first manned installation for the North Sea in nearly 30 years, Michie's group said it could be the start of a new phase for British waters.

Total had no formal announcement on the labor dispute. The company reported adjusted net income for the first quarter of $2.9 billion, a 13 percent improvement over the same period in 2017.

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