Sector News

Wood Group to shed 300 workers from North Sea operations

May 4, 2016

Wood Group plans to cull 300 office-based staff from its North Sea operations in the latest round of job cuts at the struggling oil services company.

The group said it will begin talks with 1,000 onshore employees based in the UK from Monday next week, with an expected 300 jobs likely to go, as it struggles to contend with a downturn in oil and gas markets.

Tensions are already high at Wood Group, which is currently negotiating with union representatives over plans to cut offshore worker pay for the third time in two years.

Wood Group’s chief financial officer, David Kemp, said the cuts were needed if the group is to survive the downturn in the oil and gas sector, which has wiped billions off the value of the North Sea industry.

“To achieve this, we are streamlining our structure and our processes to reduce costs and an inevitable outcome of this is an impact on our employee numbers,” he said.

“As ever, our commitment is to act compassionately and sensitively, supporting our people through this consultation process and we will make every effort to minimise the impact on them,” he added.

Wood Group has already slashed its global workforce by 8,000. A quarter of those redundancies were made in its North Sea operations. Existing employees have withstood successive pay cuts as the market rout continues to batter the company.

Unions have threatened industrial actions over concerns that Wood Group’s heavy staff cuts and falling pay rates could jeopardise the safety of its workers.

Unite’s Scottish secretary, Pat Rafferty, said the union has warned oil and gas bosses that they are “cutting too fast and too far”.

“Lives and safety are being put at risk and workers have had enough. Employers must not respond to the current downturn in this industry’s fortunes by putting people in a position of risk. Workers are feeling increasingly frustrated that their concerns are going unheard,” he said.

By Jillian Ambrose

Source: The Telegraph

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