NORTH Sea oil and gas operators are facing a “tsunami" of industrial unrest after workers voted to strike over jobs, pay and conditions.

Unite, the UK’s second largest trade union, said around 1400 of its members working for a number of companies operating in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) are involved in the dispute.

They warned that due to the specialised roles its members undertake, platforms and offshore installations will be brought to a “standstill”. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Oil and gas companies have been given free rein to enjoy massive windfall profits in the North Sea; drilling concessions are effectively licences to print money.

“1400 offshore workers are now set to take strike action against these employers who are raking it in but refusing to give them a fair share of the pie. This will create a tsunami of industrial unrest in the offshore sector.

“Unite will support these members every step of the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

READ MORE: McCrone Report: The oil and gas fields in the North Sea since 1975

The prospective action includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders, crane operators, pipefitters, platers and riggers.

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite has received unprecedented support in favour of industrial action in the UK Continental Shelf. It is the biggest mandate we have received in a generation in the offshore sector.

“There is no doubt that this is directly linked to oil and gas companies reaping record profits while the workforce gets scraps from the table.

“Unite’s members are angry at the corporate greed being shown by offshore operators and contractors. Now these major global companies are set to face the consequences as dozens of offshore platforms will be brought to a standstill in a matter of weeks.”

No dates have yet been set for industrial action.