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    North Sea workers vote for strike


The workers are stationed at TotalEnergies facilities.

by: Joseph Murphy

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North Sea workers vote for strike

Three hundred UK North Sea workers at oilfield services companies Ponticelli and Semco Maritime have voted in favour of industrial action following a dispute over cuts to terms and conditions, trade union Unite the Union reported on November 16.

The workers are stationed at TotalEnergies' Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas facilities. Unite's Ponticelli UK members voted to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, while Semco Maritime members voted by 90.3% on a return of 61.4%.

"Unite members at Ponticelli/Semco have made their intentions clear in the ballot. They are going to push back against this attack on their jobs, pay and conditions," Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said in a statement. "Those making the decisions within these companies clearly lack experience and sound  judgement. They need to rethink their proposals and come back with an improved offer. Otherwise they are going to face determined industrial action which will be supported all the way by the union."

Unite called a ballot on strike action in mid-October, and voting ended on November 15. The union claims that the "slash and burn" cuts to terms and conditions will see some workers lose up to £40,000 ($54,000) from their pensions. It previously said that industrial action would begin in December.