Latest from Unite Offshore

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COTA DISPUTE UPDATE

Aramark, Sodexo, Entier, ESS, Trinity and FOSS have reneged on the two-year pay deal which was negotiated by your union, Unite. This is completely unacceptable. In March of this year, you, the members of Unite, were asked if you wanted a ballot for industrial action over these disgraceful action by the employer.

Over 80% of Unite members balloted said YES to a ballot for industrial action. As a democratic and member led union, we listen to our members- and we hoped that the employers would take note of this discontent. It is very disappointing that these companies refuse to uphold a fair and reasonable pay deal. But we have been left with no choice but to stand up for our rights: in the coming weeks, Unite will be serving notice on these COTA employers. In the meantime, we must continue to prepare the ground for this action.

The combined total profits of Sodexo, Eurest and Aramark were in the £billions last year. The pay deal which was negotiated between the workers, our unions and the employers is fair and reasonable. Despite getting a huge tax break from the UK government, ordinary workers- across the sector- are being asked to pay the price for fluctuations in the price of oil. Whilst oil may be a precious commodity, we think that there is no commodity more important that our labour and the work that you do offshore.

Without us, the industry can’t operate- and we deserve to be recognised for the role we play in the North Sea. We ensure the smooth operation of the Offshore industry. Our services, our work and our skills create the backbone of offshore operations. There is no life or comfort for the rest of offshore workers without us.

HAVE YOUR SAY

For all those affected by this pay cut, come along to the branch meeting for catering, auxiliary and admin Unite members. Come along to the upcoming COTA Branch Meetings to have your say and discuss the best way forward in our dispute. We have now contacted the majority of workers in the catering, auxiliary and administrative roles who will be balloted. But it cannot be emphasised enough- it is absolutely crucial that Unite have the following info for every member: address / job title / rig / employer / contract type. If you haven’t already done so please send us your info either by emailing:  offshoreunite@gmail.com or speaking to an organiser at the heliports.

OCA DISPUTE UPDATE

Following the rejection of the latest Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) offer, Unite will be discussing with our members at the heliports the best way forward for the industrial dispute. You, the members have categorically rejected the OCA’s proposals over changes to shift rotas and terms and conditions following our consultative ballot.

Unite have approached the OCA confirming that Unite members have taken the democratic decision to reject the proposals. Unite confirmed our campaigning position that our members decision would be final.

This newsletter is to advise you an informal meeting with the Chief Executive and Chair of the OCA has now taken place and the OCA have met with their Board to consider their response.

The OCA have now advised Unite that they are unable to offer further improvements to the offer confirmed in their letter of 19 June 2015.

In particular they confirmed that they were not prepared to make alterations to their offer in regard to “equal time” (three on, three off rotas).

The OCA have reiterated they value the Agreement and the stability it has enabled over the past 16 years and that they are available for further dialogue. However, given the indication they are not prepared to change their views, our commitment to our membership is clear.

We will now begin the preparations for a lawful industrial action ballot for Unite members working within the OCA.

This process will be closely scrutinised and our preparations will be critical in protecting you and ensuring the ballot cannot be legally postponed.

We can fully expect the companies to use every legal means possible to try and stop our ballot. Unite organisers will be undertaking a major exercise to ensure that your voice is heard and not suppressed via legal battles.

Many Unite members will have been contacted by a Unite Organiser and updated their personal details.

The critical information we require to protect your ballot is your postal address, the company you work for, job title, rig and contract type (are you ad hoc, permanent, etc?)

If this has recently changed or if you have not yet supplied this information previously then please speak to an Organiser at the Heliports or email us at offshoreunite@gmail.com

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IF YOU WANT TO WIN: JOIN UNITE

In order to win, we need as many workers offshore as possible to join Unite.

There is a great deal of truth in the old saying that there is ‘strength in numbers’. We need as many workers in the North Sea to join Unite, to be ready to take part in the ballot and to tell colleagues to do the same. The oil companies and employers might seem strong, but when we all stand up and stand together, we can win.  Unite is the largest and most organised trade union representing off shore workers. Unite represents off shore workers covered by the OCA, COTA and UKDCA. We are proud to be a member led union, and during this dispute, we want to hear from you, the members, about tactics that you think would work. We need to have a strong membership to fight back against these attacks on our pay, jobs, terms and conditions- so if you’re already a member, ask a co-worker to join today. Make your voice heard, become part of the fight back that is needed to change the industry and to secure a better future off shore. Stronger together, stronger offshore, stronger in unite

You can join online at http://www.unitetheunion.org, speak to one of the unite organisers at the heliports for a membership pack.

ASSIST THE CAMPAIGN OFFSHORE

Below are ways to get in touch with Unite organisers who can guide you in assisting with the campaign. We will always protect our workers from hostile employers- if you have something to say about how best to proceed with our campaign for a sustainable future for the offshore industry, then please get in touch. If you think you can help us build a picture of what’s really happening offshore, or if you can take information out to your co-workers, then email, call or text a Unite organiser asap. We need all members’ information to be up to date so that we are ballot ready. Continue to follow us on social media and on our website as detailed above.  As with COTA, and to move ahead legally with the dispute in the OCA, it is now absolutely crucial that Unite have the following info for every member: address / job title / rig / employer / contract type. If you haven’t already done so please send us your info either by emailing:  offshoreunite@gmail.com or speaking to an organiser

CONTACT DETAILS

WILLIAM WALLACE- OCA OFFICER- williamc.wallace@unitetheunion.org

JOHN BOLAND- COTA OFFICER john.boland@unitetheunion.org

UNITE ABERDEEN OFFICE –01224 645 271

TOMMY CAMPBELL –UKDCA OFFICER- tommy.campbell@unitetheunion.org

BILLY DONOHOE – ORGANISER – billy.donohoe@unitetheunion.org

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