Workers at major Angus employer Baker Hughes have voted to strike in a row over pay.
The US oil and gas giant employs around 500 staff in Montrose across two sites.
Earlier this month, The Courier revealed Baker Hughes had issued redundancy notices to 250 staff and offered new contracts on reduced terms.
According to Unite the union, the firm plans to cut shift and overtime rates by up to 50%.
Unite estimates the proposed changes to contracts could wipe 29% off workers’ wages. This would be equivalent to a £10,500 drop in annual income.
The union’s ballot for strike action saw around 110 workers vote to strike.
Unite reported its members voted for strike action by 87.3% on an 87.5% turnout.
Strike has ‘full support’ of union
Unite has accused the oil and gas firm of “laying waste to Scottish jobs”.
General secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s growing membership at Baker Hughes are prepared to take the company head-on to protect their jobs, pay and conditions.
“They will have their union’s full support in this fight.
“Boardroom greed by oil and gas businesses like Baker Hughes is nothing new.
“But this billion dollar company’s proposals to cut pay by £10,000 is a new low for an industry plagued by corporate callousness.”
Baker Hughes’ sites in Montrose are at Charleton Road and Forties Industrial Estate on Brent Avenue.
A £31m subsea centre of excellence – partly funded by a £4.9m Scottish Enterprise grant – opened in January 2019.
Some workers who spoke to The Courier said they had been given just five minutes’ notice before redundancy notices were issued.
What is Baker Hughes saying?
Baker Hughes has said it wants to reduce workers’ pay on one shift pattern and did not want to make redundancies.
The spokesperson said: “Baker Hughes is aware that a minority of employees at our Montrose site (23%) have voted for industrial action.
“This action is premature as we are still in the process of collective employee consultation.
“Our Montrose employees are of huge importance to Baker Hughes.
“To clarify, this consultation is not suggesting headcount reductions. It is also not suggesting any reduction in basic hourly pay or any reduction in any overtime rates.
“Consultation is looking at reducing (but not eliminating) the uplift in pay associated with shift work for one shift pattern.
“Baker Hughes is following due legal process to manage this proposed change and seek potential alternatives.
“Unfortunately, Baker Hughes has been affected by lower subsea contract activity as reflected in our Q2 earnings last week, and we must respond to the economic impact of this reality.”
The latest developments come just a year after two rounds of job cuts in which almost 100 staff were cut.