12 Days Remaining

Saturday 17th
posted by Malcolm Burns in Britain

OFFSHORE union RMT warned of “worse to come” as further oil job cuts flowed in yesterday even as workers met bosses for an industry crisis summit in Aberdeen.

Offshore services multinational Schlumberger confirmed it would be cutting staff in north-east Scotland as part of a massive worldwide shedding of its workforce in response to the oil price crash.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the latest shock came at the end of a “grim week” for the offshore industry, following news yesterday that BP is to axe 300 jobs.

Mick Cash said: “This is yet more bad news coming at the end of what has been a grim week for the offshore industry.

“All the signals that the union is receiving suggest that there is far worse to come.”

Schlumberger, which runs offices in Aberdeen and Westhill, said onshore and offshore jobs would go in Scotland as part of a worldwide workforce reduction of 9,000 — but refused to confirm reports that 100 North Sea-related jobs were under threat.

A Schlumberger spokeswoman said: “The dramatic fall in oil price over the past quarter has led our customers to decrease exploration and production activity worldwide.”

The news came as offshore unions RMT, GMB and Unite, along with the Scottish TUC, met industry body Oil and Gas UK in Aberdeen over the ongoing threat to jobs and the long-term security of the UK’s energy supplies.

Both sides agreed to make joint representations to Westminster and Holyrood for urgent action, and will meet again next week to plan how to take the fight for oil jobs forward.

Oil & Gas UK described the meeting as “open and constructive.”

UK operations director Oonagh Werngren said: “Oil & Gas UK listened to the unions’ concerns in light of rising costs and declining production, exacerbated by the fall in oil prices.”

Mr Cash said: “The energy industry workforce is caught in a pincer movement of slash and burn cuts from companies which racked up vast profits when the going was good and a lack of swift and decisive action from the politicians to stave off this growing crisis.”