Bilfinger offshore workers in pay win

700 Bilfinger offshore workers accept ‘vastly’ improved 10 per cent pay offer, ending threat of industrial action

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Unite the union confirmed today (June 8) that over 700 offshore members at Bilfinger UK Limited have accepted a ‘vastly’ improved wage offer bringing the pay dispute to an end.

Unite’s Bilfinger members accepted a further 6 per cent increase on basic pay in addition to the 4 per cent rise in January 2023. With other uplifts made by Bilfinger in November 2022, the increase in basic pay has been lifted by up to 19 per cent for some members in less than a year.

The deal for example means a £5.15 uplift in hourly pay for an advanced scaffolder and it constitutes the highest annual pay increase ever in the North Sea for Bilfinger contractors.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said, “Unite has secured a vastly improved wage deal for our Bilfinger members. The deal only came about due to the determination of our members to secure a fairer wage offer demonstrated by their bravery in taking strike action.

The deal shows that workers can take on the oil and gas operators and contractors, and win. Unite will always support our offshore members fighting back for good jobs, pay and conditions.”

Bilfinger had initially refused to increase pay above the base rate set in the Energy Services Agreement (ESA) for 2022. The ESA agreed last year to a 4 per cent uplift, which was paid in January 2023.

The Bilfinger contractors were scheduled to participate in the two recent rounds of offshore strike action starting on 1 June and ending on 3 June, and then from today (8 June) to 10 June. However, the industrial action was suspended to allow a vote on the improved wage offer by Bilfinger.

Shauna Wright, Unite industrial officer, added, “Unite has won a good deal for over 700 Bilfinger workers which is the highest annual uplift in pay ever at the company. It represents a 10 per cent pay increase this year, and since last November it actually means we have increased the basic hourly pay by up to 19 per cent for some of our members. It’s a great result which has only come about due to the resolve and strength of our members.”

By Andrew Brady