Unite to bal­lot Mariner work­ers on new of­fer

Deal ‘ad­dresses con­cerns’

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - BUSINESS - BY DAVID MCPHEE BY HE­LEN CAHILL

Trade union Unite has an­nounced it will bal­lot its mem­bers on a re­vised pay of­fer on Equinor’s Mariner plat­form.

The union con­firmed yes­ter­day that a new of­fer had been tabled by oil field ser­vice firm Aker So­lu­tions and that its mem­ber­ship had agreed to re­move an over­time ban as a ges­ture of “good will”.

Unite also said the new of­fer “ad­dresses a num­ber of key con­cerns” raised in the suc­cess­ful bal­lot for in­dus­trial ac­tion in­clud­ing train­ing, turn­able beds nightly al­lowance, standby and bonus pay­ments.

A fresh vote on the of­fer will take place on Au­gust 13. Some 83.4% of Unite mem­bers on a 80.1% turnout voted to re­ject the pre­vi­ous of­fer.

Unite re­gional of­fi­cer John Boland said: “There has been sig­nif­i­cant move­ment by Aker man­age­ment over the last week to ad­dress a num­ber of the key con­cerns our mem­ber­ship had which led to an over­whelm­ing man­date for in­dus­trial ac­tion. These lat­est ne­go­ti­a­tions have been con­ducted in a con­struc­tive way which led to Unite mak­ing the de­ci­sion to re­move the over­time work­ing ban as a ges­ture of good­will.

“The new of­fer will be put to our mem­ber­ship in a con­sul­ta­tive bal­lot with a rec­om­men­da­tion to ac­cept, but it is ul­ti­mately in their hands as to whether they think this is an ac­cept­able of­fer.”

Crew on the £4.5 bil­lion project downed tools for eight hours in an ‘un­of­fi­cial strike’ on April 7 in a dis­pute over pay and work­ing con­di­tions.

They are be­lieved to have de­clined to work over­time the fol­low­ing day.

Trade union sources sug­gested a lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion had led to un­favourable changes in shift pat­terns.

Mean­while, strike ac­tion con­tin­ued yes­ter­day on North Sea plat­forms op­er­ated by French oil gi­ant To­tal.

The row cen­tres on To­tal’s plans to switch work­ers’ ro­tas from two weeks on, three weeks off to three on, three off.

Work­ers voted to down tools in a se­ries of 24-hour and 12-hour strikes. Last Mon­day, 24-hour strikes halted pro­duc­tion on the Al­wyn, Dun­bar and El­gin.

Fur­ther 24-hour stop­pages will take place on Au­gust 6 and Au­gust 20 with an ad­di­tional 12-hour stop­page on Au­gust 13.

The lat­est pro­duc­tion data on the Oil and Gas Au­thor­ity’s web­site in­di­cates the three fields pump out more than 70,000 bar­rels of oil equiv­a­lent per day com­bined.

Unite re­gional of­fi­cer Wul­lie Wal­lace con­firmed “no talks” had taken place with To­tal. Mar­kets were rel­a­tively quiet yes­ter­day as traders awaited the up­com­ing in­ter­est rate de­ci­sion from the Bank of Eng­land on Thurs­day.

The FTSE 100 closed the ses­sion 0.46 points lower, re­main­ing at the 7,700 mark it reached by the end of last week.

In cur­ren­cies mar­kets, ster­ling was up 0.3% against the dol­lar at 1.314, and was up 0.07% against the euro at 1.122 in late af­ter­noon.

Oil prices rose amid fears about sup­ply lev­els, with planned sanc­tions for Iran loom­ing over the mar­ket.

In af­ter­noon trad­ing, Brent crude was up 0.8% at 74.917.

Lad­brokes owner GVC Hold­ings be­came the top riser on the FTSE 100 af­ter it con­firmed plans for a joint ven­ture with MGM Re­sorts, help­ing the gam­ing group take ad­van­tage of a bur­geon­ing sports bet­ting mar­ket in the US. The big­gest fall­ers on the FTSE 100 were Sage Group down 33.2p to 612.8p and Pear­son down

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