Unions fear oil sector job losses

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Job cuts caused by the slump in oil prices could cause “serious long-term damage” to the UK’s energy capacity, unions have warned.

The Government was pressed to take urgent action as workers at oil giant BP were braced for news of job losses.

The firm announced restructuring plans last month following the fall in oil prices and is expected to give information today on its plans affecting jobs.

Around 15,000 of BP’s employees are based in the UK, while the company employs about 84,000 people worldwide.

It warned last month that the rate of job losses across the UK and abroad will increase, with the focus likely to be on head office and back office roles rather than front-line operations.

Today’s briefing will be held at BP’s North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey is meeting oil and gas industry officials in Scotland later today.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “In the wake of the current price slump RMT is demanding that Westminster and the Scottish Parliament adopt a crisis management approach to ensure sustained production, maintenance of infrastructure, retention of skills, and a robustly regulated regime in the future. Warm words from Ed Davey have to be matched by sharp and decisive action.​“​