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NORTH SEA oil workers should get a pay rise in line with the staggering increase handed to Shell’s top boss, unions said today.
Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden saw his total pay packet rise by almost £800,000 last year.
He trousered a total of £7.811 million, including a £2.6m bonus, which was a quarter more than the previous year.
Shell remuneration committee chair Gerard Kleisterlee said Mr Van Beurden had “delivered on a number of fronts” and had given “strong leadership” around its new energy strategy.
The oil giant more than tripled its bottom line profits to £8.5 billion, following the temporary rise in the Brent crude price to $70 a barrel.
Shell said its earnings were bolstered by higher production levels from new oil fields. These had offset declines from existing fields. The group has also begun a massive asset-stripping programme.
But workers on North Sea oil platforms have faced an assault on jobs, pay and conditions since the oil price crashed two years ago.
Many workers are employed through contractors rather than directly by oil companies.
General union Unite, which represents oil workers, said it was time to reverse this tide and ensure workers were given just pay for the tough conditions on the platforms.
If Shell’s performance “is good enough for the bosses to get huge increases, then it’s good enough for the workers as well,” Unite official Tommy Campbell said.
“Because they’re the ones doing the hard graft drilling for the oil.”
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