TotalEnergies latest offshore workers balloted on strike action

Unite the union announced today (14 April) that offshore workers employed by TotalEnergies are being balloted on strike action.

Around 70 Unite members based on the Elgin Franklin and North Alwyn platforms along with the Shetland Gas Plant are being balloted on strike action as part of a ‘tsunami’ of industrial unrest in the offshore sector.

The latest dispute centres on the pay claim for 2023, and a reduction in the days worked offshore. Unite is spearheading the campaign to secure a better work and life balance for offshore members.

The ballot covering Elgin Franklin and North Alwyn is currently open while the ballot covering the Shetland Gas Plant opens on 19 April. Both ballots close on 5 May.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Oil and gas companies in the offshore sector are enjoying record windfall profits. In 2022, TotalEnergies posted a record net profit of $20.5 billion (£16.4 billion). The scale of corporate greed in the offshore sector has to be challenged, and it will be by Unite.

 “We will support all our TotalEnergies members every step of the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

In 2022, the French corporation posted a record net full year profit of $20.5 billion (£16.4 billion). The company recorded an adjusted net income of $36.2 billion (£28.9 billion) but paid around $15 billion (£12 billion) in charges linked to leaving the Russian market.

TotalEnergies workers are on different shift rotations either three weeks on, and three weeks or four weeks off. Despite meetings with TotalEnergies management, the company has refused to discuss with Unite a reduction in days worked or a change of rotation.

Unite members being balloted include control room operators, mechanical, operations and production technicians along with skilled engineers. The trade union predicts that if its members vote to take strike action then it will have a ‘significant’ impact on oil and gas production.

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: Unite’s members employed by TotalEnergies across the Elgin Franklin and North Alwyn platforms, and the Shetland Gas Plant are joining an army of offshore workers saying enough is enough.

If the TotalEnergies workforce support strike action then it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on oil and gas production across the company’s assets.

Unite last week announced that 1350 offshore workers across five companies will take strike action starting on 24 April until 26 April.

Unite predicts the coordinated strike action will bring platforms and the offshore installations of major oil and gas operators to a standstill. The corporations to be hit by the action include BP, CNRI, EnQuest, Harbour Energy, Ithaca, Shell and Total.