Britain’s Unite union announced on Tuesday that around 300 members who work for offshore platform maintenance contractors Ponticelli and Semco Maritime have voted in favor of a strike over the terms and conditions of their contract. Semco and Ponticelli operate together as a consortium under the Aberdeen-based PBS brand, and their joint venture holds the TotalEnergies maintenance contract for all UK offshore assets.
Unite’s Ponticelli UK members voted over 93 percent in favor of the strike, and its Semco Maritime Ltd members voted 90 percent in favor. Both saw the turnout of more than 60 percent of their members.
Unite members are now set to take industrial action, including an overtime ban, from early December to late February 2022. These members are working on the TotalEnergies contract on Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin , Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn and Shetland Gas Plante.
“These workers worked during the COVID pandemic. . . They are the ones who made the North Sea platforms produce oil and gas for Total. But now that oil and gas prices have hit a new high, vaccines have dramatically reduced the impact of COVID, and Total is making millions in profit, our members are being urged to agree to reductions in their terms and conditions and layoffs, ”said John Boland Regional Unit. “The members of Unite are beyond anger and frustration. We now see that Unite was right when we raised concerns about the inexperience of these two companies and that this inexperience would result in lower costs for our companies. members terms and conditions as well as jobs. “
In a response statement, Ponticelli PBS director Andreas Christophersen said the consortium was disappointed with the outcome of the ballot, but planned to work closely with the union to “achieve the solutions that best meet to the needs of all parties “.
“The decision to make changes to anyone’s terms and conditions is not taken lightly, and we appreciate the efforts that have been made to ensure that the assets have been able to function since the start of the pandemic,” Christophersen said.
For its part, Unite adopted an unusually sharp tone in its criticism of the management of the company – even for a union in the midst of a labor dispute. “Those who make the decisions within these companies clearly lack experience and judgment. They need to rethink their proposals and come back with an improved offer,” said Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham.