Members of UK union Unite at Total E&P have written an open letter to Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, requesting his personal intervention in a dispute.

Members of UK union Unite at Total E&P have written an open letter to Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, requesting his personal intervention in a dispute which has seen the union carry out a number of strikes in the North Sea.

The development comes after Unite members rejected a revised pay offer by Total on September 11. The union said it has put to its membership a final offer by Total in a consultative ballot following discussions at ACAS last week. Unite revealed that the offer retains 3-on-3-off rotas, which it states “remains the center of the dispute”.

“The Unite membership of Total on the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin rigs have taken the initiative to write to Mr Pouyanne to request his personal intervention. Total in its mission statement says that the company ‘strives to create the conditions’ for its workers to ‘express and develop their potential’,” Unite Regional Industrial Officer Wullie Wallace said in an organization statement.

“However, the Total workforce is emphatically telling management that the conditions the 3:3 rotas they are trying to impose are not what they want and it will create a poorer working environment. We encourage Mr Pouyanné to take a leaf out of Shell’s book who this week listened to its workforce and acted accordingly,” he added.

Total declined to comment on the union letter.

Earlier this week, Shell UK revealed that it will change its offshore operating model on its central North Sea assets.

“As a result of the new operating model we will combine our operations and maintenance teams, creating new multi-skilled operation and maintenance technician roles in the Shell organization,” the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

“This will include a change in the working pattern to a 2/3 cycle (two weeks offshore, three weeks field break) for Shell staff and our core crew,” the statement added.

Shell UK said it anticipates the changes being implemented in the second quarter of next year. Unite welcomed the decision by Shell to move to a new working pattern.

“Unite has consistently highlighted the dangers of three week working offshore and has been campaigning to get operators to move to better rotas for the welfare and health of our members,” Unite Regional Industrial Officer John Boland said in a union statement released on Tuesday.

“It is good to see that Shell have listened to Unite and the views of the wider workforce,” he added.





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