Hundreds of North Sea oil workers have agreed to down their tools for the first time in a generation today.
Nearly 400 members of trade unions Unite and RMT will take part in a 24-hour stoppage. They work for Wood Group across eight oil platforms. This will be followed by a series of other strikes over the following weeks.
"It is anticipated that the action will severely disrupt operations on the Shell platforms based in the North Sea's Brent and Central oil and gas fields," according to the statement released by Unite yesterday.
Union members threw their weight behind strike action in a vote two weeks ago. They're protesting the oil services firm's plans to introduce lower pay, longer hours and more demanding work schedules.
John Boland, Unite regional officer, said: "Strike action by our members is not a decision they take lightly, but they have been pushed to the limit by an employer unwilling to rethink proposals to slash their pay and allowances."
"Wood Group needs to wake up to the determination of our members by negotiating seriously with Unite and the other offshore unions to reach a deal which is fair for their highly skilled and hardworking work force."
Paul Goodfellow, Shell UK and Ireland upstream vice president, said: "We are disappointed by this development and hope that Wood Group’s employees and management will continue in their discussions in an effort to resolve their issues."
A spokesperson from Wood Group said: "We continue to engage proactively and openly with our employees and the unions with a focus on reaching a resolution. Safeguarding these jobs in the North Sea now and in the future has always been, and remains our priority."