Workers on the Foinaven Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) have voted to take strike action.
The Foinaven FPSO vessel is owned by Teekay but operated by Altera staff. The vessel is currently contracted to work for oil and gas giant BP but it is due to end its contract when it will be towed to Hunterston Port. All workers will be made redundant at the end of August as BP ended the contract for the vessel.
The Unite union states that Offshore workers are being given a significantly inferior redundancy package compared with Altera’s onshore workforce. Altera onshore staff are set to receive redundancy payments of one month’s salary for each completed year of service up to a maximum of 12 months (one year salary). Offshore members were being offered basic statutory redundancy.
Unite represents around 60 workers who perform a number of roles including crane operators, electricians, deck crew and production technicians.
Spokesperson for the workers who are members of the Unite Trade Union, general secretary Sharon Graham said:
“Our offshore members working on the Foinaven FPSO vessel are rightly aggrieved at being treated as second class workers by Altera.
“Unite will challenge the company on this. All our members are asking for is parity in the redundancy package due to the contract coming to an end.”
On 2nd of April this year there was a fire onboard the vessel when all non-essential staff had to be evacuated.
Vic Fraser, Unite industrial officer, added:
“During the industrial action ballot process Altera actually threatened our members, their long serving loyal employees, that if they were to take industrial action they may not receive the redundancy package which had been agreed. I am proud that the vote confirms our members will not buckle to threats and neither will their union.
“There have also been ongoing safety concerns raised by workers that both Altera and BP are still forging ahead with plans to move the vessel when virtually the whole crew will be on an all-out indefinite strike. The thought of having safety critical work done while in tow with no qualified competent crew working is a real concern.”