Unite the union has sent a strong message of solidarity to hundreds of striking oil workers in Norway.

 

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More than 300 members of the Industri Energi union went on strike yesterday after wage talks broke down with the Norwegian Oil Industry Association.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke sent the following message to Leif Sande, head of Industri Energi.

“Dear Leif
We are aware of your dispute on the North Sea with 335 of your members now on strike after mediation talks between the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association broke down at Schlumberger Norway, Baker Hughes Norway, Halliburton, Oceaneering and Oceaneering Asset Integrity.
Would you please send this message of support to your members from Unite.
Your Union has our full support and if you need help just please ask.
We know the oil sector is having a difficult period but the demands from employers are increasingly unacceptable to our unions and members.
We must now stick together in difficult times.
Solidarity
Tony Burke
Assistant General Secretary
Unite”

 


 

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Helicopter Firms ‘Could Speed Up’ North Sea Safety Improvements

 

Helicopter Firms ‘Could Speed Up’ North Sea Safety Improvements

Published in Oil Industry News on Tuesday, 27 September 2016

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Safety in the North Sea could be improved more quickly if helicopter firms volunteered to make changes, rather than waiting for regulators to take action, a new report says.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) made a number of safety recommendations in February 2014 following a series of accidents involving offshore helicopters.

They included a ban on flying offshore in extreme weather, ensuring passengers are able to escape from emergency exits and fitting new breathing systems.

 

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But in a newly-published report, the CAA said safety improvements “could be introduced more quickly through […] operators voluntarily applying changes”.

The watchdog said the same result could be achieved by intervention from the European Aviation Safety Agency or through contracts imposed by the oil and gas industry itself.

The majority of safety improvements brought in since the 2014 report have been as a result of direct action by the CAA.

But it said work towards introducing six safety measures recommended in 2014 has stalled, including standardising emergency exit windows, mounting flotation devices on the sides of helicopters and employing self-righting life jackets.

While most of these improvements could reportedly be implemented in less than three years, the CAA said it was “unaware of any voluntary activity in this area apart from work on handholds and revised push-out window pull-tabs performed by Airbus Helicopters”.

There have been five serious offshore helicopter accidents in the UK over the last seven years, two of which were fatal.

Four people died when a Super Puma plunged into the North Sea near Shetland in August 2013 and 16 were killed in a similar 2009 crash off Peterhead.

The UK’s Super Puma fleet was recently grounded following an incident in Norway which claimed 13 lives, including that of Iain Stuart from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

Source: stv.tv


 In 06 November 2013

Unite the Unions succesful helicopter back home safe campaign highlighted inmprovemenrts offshore workers backed thencampaign amnd moved decsion makers to  implement  improvements

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Unite launches the Back Home Safe campaign for offshore workers

06 November 2013

Offshore workers together with Unite, the country’s biggest union are launching the ‘Back Home Safe’ campaign on Wednesday 6 November (see notes to editors), which calls for immediate improvements to the safety of offshore flights.

Since August’s offshore tragedy, Unite has led an extensive consultation with offshore workers on the current safety of offshore flights. A survey of 532 workers found that over half, 50.7 per cent of workers are not confident about the safety of offshore helicopter flights.  A further 81 per cent of workers said that their level of confidence in helicopter flights had decreased in the last 12 months.

Our consultation shows that the vast majority of offshore workers are calling for:

• increased investment to create a larger offshore fleet

• changes to the internal seat configuration on offshore helicopters

• changes to the design of helicopters used for passenger transfers offshore

• internal emergency lighting fitted to helicopters to aid evacuation

• immediate implementation of all safety recommendations from past offshore helicopter incidents

• independent review to improve contingencies in the event of a ditching (to maximise the survival time for workers)

• improved survival equipment and training for workers.

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “Offshore workers are launching a really important campaign to improve offshore safety and to save lives.  Unite has spoken to hundreds of offshore workers who have clearly expressed their legitimate concerns but they have also made concrete proposals to improve safety.

“Over 1500 offshore workers have already backed  a petition calling for action which will be presented to  Oil and Gas UK next month. Overwhelmingly offshore workers are demanding action from the industry to improve the safety of offshore helicopter flights – Oil and Gas UK must now act.”

ENDS

The campaign will be launched by Tommy Campbell Unite regional officer with Chris Gordon from Thompsons solicitors and Unite offshore representatives in attendance.

For more information or to attend the event contact Willie Thomson on 07810 157 910. Alternatively contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315.

Notes to editors:

The campaign launch will take place at:

Where: Unite Office 42-44 King Street Aberdeen AB24 2JT
When: Wednesday 6 November
Time: 10:30 – 11:30

Twitter @BackHomeSafe

Facebook

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-launches-the-back-home-safe-campaign-for-offshore-workers/#sthash.zKnYZWBi.dpuf

Get protected Offshore in the air on the ground or on your Installation  you know it makes sense to Join Unite offshore

 

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

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Unite says government must take action to protect offshore jobs

 Brent-Bravo-shell

Unite says government must take action to protect offshore jobs

27 September 2016
Scotland’s biggest union has called for urgent government action to protect jobs in the oil and gas industry.
Unite the union was commenting after a new report from the industry body Oil & Gas UK showed a massive fall in investment from £14.8 billion in 2014 to around £9 billion in 2015.
Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “We recognise that industry and unions can’t do this alone. We need government to take a much more active role in dealing with the major issues facing the North Sea.
“In July, we said that the UK Government’s Oil and Gas Workforce Plan was woefully inadequate and fell short of arresting a decline in the industry which has led to over 120,000 jobs being axed in the past few years.
“We have repeatedly called for a summit of key industry figures and ministers from the Scottish and UK governments to hammer out an action plan to save the offshore oil and gas industry. We repeat that call today.”
Unite also said that the UK Oil & Gas report showed the importance of protecting workers from cost-cutting.
Pat Rafferty said: “The report says that there has been a 45% drop in the cost of extracting a barrel of oil or gas. Our fear is that a large part of that figure has come from unsustainable cuts to jobs, pay and conditions.
“Companies have to realise that they can’t prop up their profits – or create a sustainable industry – by simply attacking the offshore and onshore workers employed in the oil and gas industry who are the bedrock of their success.
“We can’t just have a race to the bottom, with companies competing with each other to slash pay and conditions and turn livelihoods upside down. It’s bad for the industry, it’s bad for our members, and it’s bad for the wider UK economy that relies on their income.”
ENDS
Notes to editors
For more information, contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.
Twitter: @UniteScotland
Facebook: UniteScotland

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/listofregions/scotland/latestnews/unite-says-government-must-take-action-to-protect-offshore-jobs/#sthash.sONDdPY7.Lodi7tHp.dpuf

 


 

 

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

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‘We won’t be treated unfairly’

‘We won’t be treated unfairly’

First North Sea strike in a generation ends

David Eyre, Thursday, 2016

Members of Unite, Scotland’s biggest offshore union have voted to end an industrial dispute that led to the first North Sea strike in a generation. 

In July, members of the Unite union working on Shell platforms across the North Sea started strike action after rejecting proposed cuts by their employer, the oil facilities company Wood Group.

 

The workers faced losing up to 30 per cent in pay and allowances.

 

A proposal to end the dispute was put to members on 12 September, and today (September 22) the union announced that they had been accepted by 105 votes to 82.

 

“Our negotiations with Wood Group allowed us to reduce the levels of cuts being proposed to our members’ wages and terms and conditions,”  said Unite regional officer John Boland.

 

“We were able to secure improvements to competency payments and the introduction of a flexibility payment. Threats to life insurance, health care and sick pay have been removed.

 

“We have a commitment to greater work security for ad-hoc workers, and they now have greater opportunities to progress into permanent posts,” he added.

 

“As ever, our members have shown themselves willing to be open to meaningful negotiations and are not blind to the challenges facing the offshore sector in these difficult times – but they have also shown they will not be treated unfairly.

 

“I would like to pay tribute to all the stewards and members who stayed united, strong and determined during this dispute. They can be proud of the way they stood by each other in this difficult time.”

 

‘We won’t be treated unfairly’

 

Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

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North Sea Strike Ends as Pay Deal Agreed


 

 

North Sea Strike Ends as Pay Deal Agreed

Published in Oil Industry News on Thursday, 22 September 2016

Graphic for News Item: North Sea Strike Ends as Pay Deal Agreed

The strikes held by Wood Group employees have came to an end as members of Scotland’s biggest offshore union, Unite, have voted to end their dispute with the company. This puts an end to the first North Sea strike in a generation. However strikes in the North Sea look set to continue as Norwegian employees agree to hang up their tools in a separate round of strike action.

As a reminder, it was reported back in July that over 400 members of RMT and Unite unions went on a 24-hour strike against Wood Group’s proposed pay cuts; the strike was the first of its kind in 28 years.

Wood Group employees working on Shell’s Brent Alpha, Bravo and Charlie platforms, Gannet, Nelson, Shearwater and Curlew started the strike action after rejecting proposed 30% cuts in pay and allowances.

A second strike ensued, a 48-hour stoppage this time, after talks failed to come up with any solutions over pay reductions, proposed cuts and changes to working conditions on Shell’s North Sea oil and gas platforms.

Further industrial action, scheduled for August 12, was postponed after the sides agreed to allow space for further negotiations. As a result, a proposal to end the dispute was agreed between the unions and Wood Group on September 6.

Unite said on Thursday that the proposal negotiated with Wood Group was accepted with 105 votes to 82. The union also said that the proposal was put before its members last Monday, September 12.

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Our negotiations with Wood Group allowed us to reduce the levels of cuts being proposed to our members’ wages and terms and conditions.

 

“We were able to secure improvements to competency payments and the introduction of a flexibility payment. Threats to life insurance, health care, and sick pay have been removed.

“We have a commitment to greater work security for ad-hoc workers, and they now have greater opportunities to progress into permanent posts.

“As ever, our members have shown themselves willing to be open to meaningful negotiations and are not blind to the challenges facing the offshore sector in these difficult times – but they have also shown they will not be treated unfairly.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the stewards and members who stayed united, strong and determined during this dispute. They can be proud of the way they stood by each other in this difficult time.”

Source: Offshore Energy Today

 


 

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Unite members vote to accept Wood Group proposal

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Unite members vote to accept Wood Group proposal

22 September 2016

Members of Scotland’s biggest offshore union have voted to end an industrial dispute that led to the first North Sea strike in a generation.

In July, members of the Unite union working on Shell platforms across the North Sea started strike action after rejecting proposed cuts by their employer, the oil facilities company Wood Group.

The workers faced losing up to 30% in pay and allowances.

A proposal to end the dispute was put to members on 12 September, and today (Thursday 22 September) the union announced that they had been accepted by 105 votes to 82.

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Our negotiations with Wood Group allowed us to reduce the levels of cuts being proposed to our members’ wages and terms and conditions.

“We were able to secure improvements to competency payments and the introduction of a flexibility payment. Threats to life insurance, health care and sick pay have been removed.

“We have a commitment to greater work security for ad-hoc workers, and they now have greater opportunities to progress into permanent posts.

“As ever, our members have shown themselves willing to be open to meaningful negotiations and are not blind to the challenges facing the offshore sector in these difficult times – but they have also shown they will not be treated unfairly.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the stewards and members who stayed united, strong and determined during this dispute. They can be proud of the way they stood by each other in this difficult time.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information, or to arrange an interview, contact John Boland on 07918 630435 / 01224 6455271, or Unite Scotland Media & Communications Officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org

Unite organised a 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday 26 July, followed by a series of three-hour stoppages, and then a 48-hour strike starting on Thursday 4 August on platforms owned by multi-national oil company Shell. The Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Nelson, Gannet, Shearwater and Curlew platforms were all affected.

The Wood Group proposal was put to Unite members in an electronic ballot, which opened on Monday 12th September and closed on 12 noon on Thursday 22 September.

Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/how-we-help/listofregions/scotland/latestnews/unite-members-vote-to-accept-wood-group-proposal/#sthash.ffH9jBLF.dpuf

 


 

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Norwegian Workers Go On Strike

 

Norwegian Workers Go On Strike

Published in Oil Industry News on Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Graphic for News Item: Norwegian Workers Go On Strike

Hundreds of Norwegian workers have gone on strike, after wage talks broke down.

Industri Energy – a Norwegian trade union has confirmed that 335 workers have now went on strike from Baker Hughes Norge AS, Halliburton AS, Oceaneering AS, Oceaneering Asset Integrity and Schlumberger Norge AS.

The strike has taken place after talks on the 20th of September between unions and the Norwegian Oil Industry Association broke down and no satisfactory resolution was reached.

The situation is likely to have a significant effect on the Norwegian oil industry as strike participants include engineers, ROV operators and handlers of drilling waste.

Oil prices have already seen rises of over 1% since the news broke earlier this morning.

State-appointed mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland explained that neither organisation was close to a solution despite running 4 hours past the proposed negotiation deadline.

“They were too far apart,” Ruland said.

Industri Energi was negotiating on behalf of 6,500 members at 30 companies. The union has signalled that strike action could be taken up a notch if a resolution was not met.

Both parties shave agreed that strike action would delay the drilling of some wells, resulting in a reduced output for the country.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, described the unions demand as “unreasonable” stating it was too difficult to increase wages during this current climate.

“A conflict won’t immediately affect the output of oil and gas from Norway’s continental shelf, but may do so if the conflict escalates,” the association said in a statement.

“Supplier companies have been particularly hard-hit by the decline in activity on the Norwegian continential shelf [NCS],” observes Jan Hodneland, lead negotiator at Norwegian Oil and Gas. “Many of them have been through a substantial restructuring in recent years.

“That’s involved big cost cuts and constant downsizing. These companies can’t cope with further growth in their costs. That would make the position worse for both of them and for the people they employ.”

 

Hodneland believes that a cautious pay settlement will help to improve the competitive terms for Norway’s supplier companies, and that both employers and unions must contribute preserving as many jobs as possible.

Industri Energi has now set up an official strike office in Stavanger.

Elsewhere in the UK, workers are voting on a new package proposal after weeks of strike action and negotiations.


 

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