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North Sea oil workers announce 48-hour offshore strike

Wood Group staff on seven Shell platforms will down tools from 6.30am on Thursday.

North Sea oil workers are set to carry out a 48-hour strike over pay next week.

Wood Group staff on seven Shell platforms will down tools from 6.30am on Thursday, August 4.

It follows a 24-hour strike on Tuesday and a series of shorter stoppages on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Unite and RMT union members are concerned about further cuts to pay and the switch to a three-week work cycle.

Wood Group's Dave Stewart said: "We are hugely disappointed that the significant movements we have made to reach a resolution have clearly not been acknowledged by the unions.

"I must stress, none of our employees are being offered terms and conditions below the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement agreed by the unions only this year; nor will they be.

"The majority of our employees will still be paid significantly above these terms and conditions.

"Safeguarding these jobs in the North Sea now and in the future against the backdrop of an extremely challenging economic climate, remains our firm commitment."

Offshore workers - especially contractors - have been hit by a series of wage cuts as the result of a global oil downturn caused by high supply and low demand.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude hit a low of around $26 in January before climbing to $50. It now sits at around $40 - about a third of its price two years ago.

Oil and Gas UK believes 120,000 people will have lost their jobs in the oil industry by the end of this year.

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