Piper Alpha anniversary should prompt rethink on offshore work rotas
On the anniversary of the tragic explosion on the Piper Alpha oil rig, which happened twenty-seven years ago on July 6, 1988, Unite, the UK’s largest offshore trade union, has demanded that new shift rotas and other changes imposed by the oil companies are removed in the interests of health and safety.
Commenting on the anniversary of the tragedy, in which 167 workers lost their lives, Unite Scotland Regional Secretary, Pat Rafferty, said:
“In the aftermath of Piper Alpha there was, quite rightly, a focus on the need to maintain the highest standards of health and safety offshore and a commitment made by all – both unions and the oil companies – to prioritise health and safety going forward.
“In our view that commitment, on the part of the employers, is now under question following their decision to impose shift patterns which force workers to work offshore for longer periods.
“They are now compounding the situation by refusing to honour agreed wage increases and cut terms and conditions – all of which is seriously damaging workforce morale in one of our most dangerous industries.
“In remembering those who tragically lost their lives on Piper Alpha, the employers should reinforce their commitment to health and safety standards, recognise that such standards are threatened by effects on morale and longer work periods, honour the agreements they made on wages and move away from the imposition of longer offshore working.”