North Sea oil workers on strike - Energy

A number of workers on the North Sea oil rigs went on strike today, Wednesday, demanding a raise in their wages, especially after oil and gas companies made huge profits from the price hike.

Workers are seeking to increase the basic rates of 7 pounds ($8.68) an hour, to help fuel inflation and the cost of living crisis.

Therefore, workers went on strike at the facilities of some of the sector’s largest operators, in an attempt to force a wage increase, while some described it as a “wage revolution,” according to the Energy Voice platform.

North Sea workers strike

Strikes by maintenance workers on the Elgin platform operated by Total Energy and the ‘Save Caledonia’ vessel erupted on the evening of Tuesday 17 May 2022.

More than 800 people claimed to be working in these facilities, according to a video documenting the strikes posted on Telegram.

Bilfinger workers in the UK have also announced, across several platforms, plans to strike, as they seek to raise wages.

A company spokesman said: “We understand that Bellfinger UK is one of a group of contractors with employees on strike in the North Sea. We are working closely with our customers and employees to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

North Sea
Total Energy’s oil rig – archive

low wages

“The cost of living has gone up significantly, and wages, on the other hand, have fallen or stopped significantly,” said one person, who said he represented the broader group.

He noted that the oil and gas company’s profits were “at an all-time high”, as part of the justification for the strike.

North Sea companies have – in recent weeks – reported exceptional revenues, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed commodity prices to levels not seen in years.

Spokesmen for the British trade union Unite said the union was only recently informed of workers’ complaints, and that it was unclear how many people were involved and in which facilities.

They added, “However, Unite made clear that employers who have repeatedly refused to pay wages that reflect the cost of living with inflation rising at 11.1% can only fuel resentment among workers.”

Parliamentary support

For her part, Scottish Member of Parliament, Maggie Chapman, supported the workers’ actions, and raised the issue of imposing an unexpected tax on oil and gas companies.

The Greens MP for North East Scotland said: “Oil and gas companies have made record profits during the cost of living crisis. The workers who make these profits deserve pay that reflects the hard and important work they do. I stand with them in their actions.”

“It is time to tax these companies and their CEOs. We can do this with a short-term windfall tax and a long-term wealth tax,” she added.

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