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North Sea Oil Workers Go On Strike

Posted: 09/08/2016

Earlier this month (July), hundreds of oil and gas union workers on North Sea oil rigs went on a strike – something that’s been described as unique and the first of its kind, and no doubt caused much concern for those involved with emergency response planning for the sites.

The workers, who are employed a multinational oil and gas services company, went on strike for 24 hours over pay disputes in the first industrial action of its kind in 30 years, according to the BBC. However, being on an off-shore site presents its own quirks as to what you’d usually expect from scenes of a strike, as well as presenting challenges for their emergency procedure plan.

RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy was quoted by the news source as saying: "Striking on an offshore installation is a unique exercise which has no comparison with any other industrial sector. There is no picket line, there are no placards, no marches and no demonstrations – after all, there is no one else there to see them.”

To keep workers safe, they were confined to communal areas during the industrial action, such as common rooms and cinemas, where they had planned activities to pass the time of their 12 hour shift after which they were able to return to their cabins.

The organisation that employs these workers said it was disappointed with the decision to strike, but workers who were part of the emergency response team were still on call and promised to respond if any such situation occurred.

More stoppages from workers were also scheduled for the remainder of the week.