TWO hundred North Sea workers are poised to strike, raising the prospect of dozens on platforms shutting down on the UK Continental Shelf.

Around 150 Sparrows offshore contractors have voted to take strike action across more than 20 oil and gas platforms in a dispute over pay, trade union Unite has announced.

It comes as the UK Government comes under growing pressure to extend the windfall tax on oil and gas companies that have raked in huge profits after the surge in commodity prices that followed Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

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Unit said 95.5 per cent of members had voted to take strike action on a 75% turnout, with 96.4% voting to take action short of a strike. The action will affect major operators such as Apache, Shell, and Harbour Energy.

The strike action involves Sparrows’ 'flying squad' who provide maintenance support across installations with no set platform.

Unite said last week that its Sparrows offshore services members working on BP’s Andrew, Clair, Clair Ridge, Glen Lyon, and Mungo installations backed strike action in a separate dispute over pay and conditions. Strike action will affect these BP platforms from March 29 to 7 June 7 in a series of 24, 48 and 72-hour stoppages. A continuous ban on overtime will also start on March 21.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said: “The oil and gas industry is overflowing with record profits. In 2022 BP’s profits were £23bn - more than double those for 2021. 

“Yet, the workforce is seeing next to nothing coming into their pay packets or through improved terms and conditions. Unite will support our Sparrows members every step of the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

It emerged today that the pay of BP chief executive Bernard Looney had more than doubled to £10 million in 2022. Ben van Beurden, who recently stepped down as boss of Shell, saw his pay for 2022 more than double to £9.7m.

Meanwhile, Unite said today that 200 members based at sausage skin manufacturer Devro in Glasgow have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay. It comes as the board of Devro is recommending a £564m takeover of the company by Saria Nederland BV.

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Unite said its production and maintenance members have rejected a pay offer which amounts to 3% for 2023.

The union noted 95.5% of members backed strike action on a turnout of 88%; 97% supported action short of a strike including an overtime ban.

Ms Graham said: “Unite’s members at Devro have emphatically backed strike action. This is a cash rich company which can well afford to pay its workers far more than the current offer. The parent group has also approved a takeover worth around £564m which would give shareholders a bumper payday."