Accusing the major oil companies and government of failing to prepare for falling oil prices, the union warned that short term job cuts would lead to a loss of skills that could undermine health and safety and the future of the industry in the North Sea.

Commenting, Pat Rafferty Unite Scottish secretary said: “This latest announcement on job cuts from BP is part of a deeply worrying trend across an industry which is central to the Scottish and wider UK economy.

“People are paying with their livelihoods, because of a failure by the oil majors and the Westminster government to prepare for a fall in oil prices. They’ve made hay while the sun shone, but put aside little for a rainy day.

“Over time oil prices will recover. There is a real danger that knee jerk job cuts will undermine health and safety and the future of the industry in the long term.

“The UK government needs to intervene urgently to support the industry and the taskforces set up by the Scottish government and local authority in Aberdeen need to turn words into urgent action.”

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