TechnipFMC workforce 'left in dark' over future as firm fails to outline split

Concerns were raised last night after a number of north-east workers at a global energy service firm were left in the dark over their future following the company’s announcement of a demerger.

TechnipFMC unveiled plans to split into two separate trading firms on Monday evening.

But many of the staff at its offices in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, were unsure yesterday about which business they would be working for.

It is understood the London, Houston and Paris-headquartered firm employs nearly 1,000 people in Westhill.

TechnipFMC’s board unanimously voted on Monday to separate the group into a technology and service company, RemainCo, and an engineering and construction firm, SpinCo.

Senior bosses were given some details about the split the same day – but there is still uncertainty among workers about how the changes will affect them.

RMT Union regional organiser for Aberdeen, Jake Molloy, said TechnipFMC’s behaviour was “very unusual”.

Mr Molloy added: “The split might give the company more focus over its priorities, but our worry with any structural organisation shuffle is whether there’s a drive to reduce cost behind it, which invariably means a reduction in the workforce.”

TechnipFMC said the timing of its communication of the news to staff was dictated by the “market sensitivity” of the announcement.

Chairman and chief executive Doug Pferdehirt said the company was working to an “agreed timeline” on the separation of the business, adding the firm’s vessels fleet and subsea business would form part of RemainCo.

Last night, a spokesman for the group said most of the Westhill staff would be part of RemainCo after the split – but workers would be dealt with on a “case by case basis”.

TechnipFMC employs more than 37,000 people globally. RemainCo will account for 22,000 of these workers, while SpinCo will have 15,000.

The restructuring is expected to complete during the first half of 2020.

Mr Pferdehirt added that he expects the full separation of the businesses to be completed in the first half of 2020.

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Craigmill, Pitcaple, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, AB51 5HP
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