Union bosses have said Petrofac workers plan to walk out of all BP’s North Sea oil rigs amid a dispute over leave.
Unite members had demanded three weeks paid leave, but today voted for industrial action at the platforms after only being offered two.
Alternatively workers suggested that rotas switch from three weeks on, three weeks off, a so-called 3:3 rota, to 3:4.
John Boland, the union’s regional industrial officer, said: “Unite’s Petrofac members working on all BP platforms have voted emphatically for industrial action.
“The workforce are rightly demanding that their rotas be changed from the hated 3:3, and to have more time off with their families. So, we call on BP and Petrofac to listen to our members’ reasonable request, and to put the welfare of their workforce first.”
The strikes, which are understood to leave production unaffected, could hit up to six BP assets in the North Sea.
BP said that regardless of the outcome it is focused on ensuring the “welfare of our teams offshore and the safe and reliable operation of our assets.”
Petrofac decides workers’ rotas, but its contract with BP requires them to be on the platform for three weeks at a time.
The company said: “We are disappointed that Unite members based on BP assets, have chosen to reject a proposal to add two weeks paid holidays to terms and conditions, voting instead in favour of industrial action.
“Having worked closely with [BP] to develop this offer, we believe the proposal provides a fair and reasonable compromise.”
Unite said it would announce the dates for the strike “in due course.”
All the union’s members voted for the action, with a 75 per cent turnout.
The grievances were registered with the companies in September last year.
This action is separate from another dispute at three other platforms in the North Sea.
Workers at the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms, and at the Shetland Gas Plant, voted to strike last month as Unite claimed they were pressured by Total to move from a 2:3 rota to a 3:3, 3:4 schedule, Energy Voice reported.