UK union Unite announced recently that over 700 offshore members at Bilfinger UK Limited have accepted a “vastly improved” wage offer.

The development brings a pay dispute between the workers and the company to an end, Unite outlined in a statement posted on its website.

Unite’s Bilfinger members accepted a further six percent increase on basic pay in addition to a four percent rise in January 2023, Unite highlighted in the statement, adding that, with other “uplifts” made by Bilfinger in November 2022, the increase in basic pay has been lifted by up to 19 percent for some members in less than a year.

The deal means a GBP 5.15 ($6.46) uplift in hourly pay for an advanced scaffolder and it constitutes the highest annual pay increase ever in the North Sea for Bilfinger contractors, Unite noted in the statement. The union said Bilfinger had initially refused to increase pay above the base rate set in the Energy Services Agreement (ESA) for 2022. The ESA agreed last year to a four percent uplift, the union pointed out. 

Unite noted that the Bilfinger contractors were scheduled to participate in two recent rounds of offshore strike action starting on June 1 and ending on June 3, and then from June 8 to June 10. This industrial action was suspended to allow a vote on the improved wage offer by Bilfinger, the union revealed.

“Unite has secured a vastly improved wage deal for our Bilfinger members,” Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said in a union statement.

“The deal only came about due to the determination of our members to secure a fairer wage offer demonstrated by their bravery in taking strike action,” Graham added.

“The deal shows that workers can take on the oil and gas operators and contractors, and win. Unite will always support our offshore members fighting back for good jobs, pay, and conditions,” Graham continued.

Unite Industrial Officer Shauna Wright said, “Unite has won a good deal for over 700 Bilfinger workers which is the highest annual uplift in pay ever at the company”.

“It represents a 10 percent pay increase this year, and since last November it actually means we have increased the basic hourly pay by up to 19 percent for some of our members,” Wright added.

“It’s a great result which has only come about due to the resolve and strength of our members,” Wright continued.

When asked to comment on Unite’s latest statement, a Bilfinger spokesperson told Rigzone, “we're pleased to have worked with Unite to bring forward an offer that our colleagues and clients agreed best supports our workers, and their families”.

“We are fully committed to engaging with unions on employment matters, outside of and throughout periods of industrial action, and will continue to work with them to deliver solutions that are right for our people, our customers, and our business,” the spokesperson added.

“This deal enables our employees and our organization, as co-signatories of the Energy Services Agreement, to work together to ensure a secure and sustainable oil and gas industry and energy sector for the future,” the spokesperson went on to state.

Last month, Unite confirmed that around 1,650 contractors would begin two rounds of 48-hour strike action in June.

In a statement posted on its website back in May, the union revealed that, across five companies, the contractors would participate in strike action from June 1, at 6.30am local time, to June 3, at 6.29am, and from June 8 to June 10 at the same times.

The union noted at the time that the prospective action included electrical, production and mechanical technicians, in addition to deck crew, scaffolders, crane operators, pipefitters, platers, and riggers working for Bilfinger UK Limited, Stork Technical Services, and Sparrows Offshore Services.

In a separate statement posted on its site in the same month, Unite announced that around 600 Bilfinger contractors on Ithaca, CNRI, and TAQA assets rejected new pay offers.

Back in April, Unite revealed that 1,300 offshore workers would begin a 48-hour stoppage from April 24.

Headquartered in London, Unite describes itself as the leading union in the UK and Ireland. The union is active in all sectors of the economy, according to its website.

Bilfinger UK describes itself as a leading engineering and maintenance provider supporting customers across the chemical and petrochemical, nuclear, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and biopharma, power and energy, utilities, renewables, and food and beverage markets.

To contact the author, email

magnifier linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram