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Fifth Strike At Total’s North Sea Oil, Gas Platforms Set For Aug 20th

Workers at three oil and gas platforms in the North Sea operated by Total will go ahead with the planned 24-hour strike on August 20, after a meeting with the French major on Thursday to resolve a dispute over pay and shifts ended without an agreement.

After meeting with Total today, the Scotland chapter of the UK’s biggest trade union, Unite, said on Twitter:

“Unite met Total today where the union made a series of counter proposals to Total for consideration. The company will now consider these proposals and both parties will re-convene next Thursday for further discussions. The scheduled 24 hour stoppage on Monday goes ahead.”

This will be the fifth industrial action at Total’s oil and gas platforms Alwyn, Elgin, and Dunbar since July 23.

The dispute arose after Total wanted to place workers at the platforms on a three-week rotation system instead of two.

“The dispute concerns the company’s wage review and its plans to force workers to increase their offshore working time,” Unite union said in early July, when it announced it would go on a strike.

The fields hit by the strikes account for some 10 percent of the UK’s gas production. Crude oil production at Alwyn, Elgin, and Dunbar pumps up to 50,000 bpd to the Forties and Brent Blend crude streams—the key components of the Dated Brent benchmark.

The first 24-hour strike at Total’s oil and gas platforms began on July 23 and ended as planned early the next day, but the platforms needed up to 24 hours to resume full production.

Earlier this week, Unite said that at a previous meeting with Total last week, “negligible progress” had been made.

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The union also announced “prospective industrial action” scheduled to take place in the next two months, on September 3 and 17, and on October 1, 15, and 29.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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