It’s Your Cue for news: Coordinated Union Engagement

_88165179_ocgbbcOffshore Coordinating Group (OCG) Newsletter March 2017 http://www.offshoreworkers.org.uk/files/Publications/CUE/001-CUE-Mar17.pdf

                Helicopters still top concern!

OCG tells helicopter safety group – we support our members.

The OCG unions representing the „people in the back‟ are all too aware that helicopter safety remains the single most important issue in terms of their health and safety for offshore workers. We know our colleagues up front, the pilot‟s, are equally concerned but their knowledge and personal experience inevitably means there are slightly different perceptions about the issue of helicopter travel and we all have to acknowledge that. We also have to acknowledge that when it comes to one particular aircraft, the Airbus 225, the people in the back have been expressing some strong views as part of surveys we have carried out. The vast majority of these views have been blunt; they don‟t want to fly in the 225 again! That message was made abundantly clear by two OCG representatives recently who attended the Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group (OHSLG) which is chaired by the CAA. The group met with representatives from Airbus, the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) and the Norwegian CAA. Airbus wanted to share the advances in their on-going internal investigations and the improvements being made to the EC225 helicopter type. Unite and RMT, as the representatives of the workforce, „the people in the back‟ on OHSLG, are acutely aware of the continuing concerns and the lack of confidence that workers across the sector have in helicopters generally, not just the EC225s. As we listened to Airbus and EASA discussing findings and their on-going work into gearbox types and the fact they are looking to raise the safety standard in helicopter flight globally – not just fix the problem identified after the interim AIBN reports – we couldn‟t help but think “we‟ve been here before, you told us it was safe before”. We obviously welcome the technological advances that Airbus are looking to introduce to their aircraft models and we would encourage all aircraft manufacturers to continue this work, it is vital in building the confidence of the workforce. However, when it comes to the 225 there is no way of changing the facts; we have seen this aircraft type in the sea six times since 2009 with the loss of more than 30 lives. This alone makes any proposal for a return to service extremely difficult and will cause considerable concern for workers. The investigations continue and we have no certainty over a root cause, yet despite this EASA have cleared the aircraft to return with the application of additional checks. OCG representatives suggested these „return to service‟ conditions which involve intrusive maintenance make any idea of a return to service an even greater concern to offshore workers. As we put it, conducting more maintenance potentially introduces more risks. As indicated, helicopters remain one of the highest concerns for the offshore workforce and we in the OCG are more aware of that than most. With that in mind we informed the group we would continue to show our support to the workforce and will not support any return to service until a safety case has been properly demonstrated and the workforce believe it is appropriate to do so. The Norwegian CAA and the UK CAA have indicated they have no plans to lift their current restrictions on the use of the Airbus 225 aircraft but will review that position after considering the Norwegian Air Accident Investigators report which is scheduled for the end of April. In the meantime, we await news from investigators in Ireland after a Sikorsky S92 search and rescue aircraft crashed into the sea on Tuesday, March 14th. These aircraft carry out a significantly different task to those in the oilfields but this particular aircraft, along with all other S92‟s, globally underwent recent checks after an incident on the Total Franklin platform last December. Jake Molloy, RMT


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Tommy Campbell Unite the Union

Offshore Contractors Association – Trade Unions Pay and Conditions Claim Tommy Campbell, UNITE Regional Officer explains the current situation on the OCA ballot results and what it means. The Trade Unions are seeking a significant pay increase for the offshore workforce, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time to an employer‟s onshore base. In a recent consultative ballot, all Trade Union members voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest pay offer from their employers, represented by the Offshore Contractors Association. We have repeatedly warned the OCA employers that we cannot simply have a race to the bottom, with employers competing with each other to cut the pay and conditions of the offshore workforce. The ballot result is quite clear and we are now preparing the paperwork for an independent legal Strike Ballot which has to be scrutinised by the Union‟s Head Office and the legal department. This is because of anti-union laws in the UK and the ever present threat of court action by the employers to challenge any Union members democratic strike ballots. We always do our very best to make sure that the strike ballot result is protected from a legal challenge in the Courts. It is therefore very important that you advise your Trade Union if your employment details have changed recently, for example, a changed job title or if you have a new employer or if you have a new address or a name change. Telephone conference calls are now being held regularly with Trade Union Workplace Reps whose positive contribution and support for their Union members is second to none. It‟s important that Trade Union Workplace Reps hold discussions with offshore workers on platforms in preparation for the strike ballot and any subsequent strike action born from securing a legal mandate for industrial action.

We have repeatedly warned the OCA employers that we cannot simply have a race to the bottom, with employers competing with each other to cut the pay and conditions of the offshore workforce. The ballot result is quite clear and we are now preparing the paperwork for an independent legal Strike Ballot which has to be scrutinised by the Union‟s Head Office and the legal department. This is because of anti-union laws in the UK and the ever present threat of court action by the employers to challenge any Union members democratic strike ballots. We always do our very best to make sure that the strike ballot result is protected from a legal challenge in the Courts. It is therefore very important that you advise your Trade Union if your employment details have changed recently, for example, a changed job title or if you have a new employer or if you have a new address or a name change. Telephone conference calls are now being held regularly with Trade Union Workplace Reps whose positive contribution and support for their Union members is second to none. It‟s important that Trade Union Workplace Reps hold discussions with offshore workers on platforms in preparation for the strike ballot and any subsequent strike action born from securing a legal mandate for industrial action.

The UNITE , RMT and GMB members within Wood Group know the timescale a ballot takes from their experience with their successful industrial action last year. We will be keeping Union members and Workplace Reps briefed on the progress of the strike ballot and once it has the green light from the Union‟s Central Office and legal advisers it will be then down to Trade Union members to make sure they return their postal vote. We need to ensure that there is a huge turnout for the vote for industrial action so that we can secure the legal mandate to take strike action. It‟s anticipated that the strike ballot process will take a few months to be completed which will be in time for the shutdowns planned during the summer months. It‟s important that Trade Union Reps and union members keep us informed with specific dates of the planned shutdowns. All the Offshore Trade Unions are now working very closely together under the banner of the Offshore Co-ordinating Group. The solidarity and unity of the offshore workers will give strength to the determination of their Trade Unions to secure a decent pay increase and halt the race to the bottom of any further cuts in pay or other terms and conditions. Tommy Campbell, UNITE


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Jake Molloy  RMT

RMT Jake Molloy fills us in on the goings on within their camp. ODIA – With the Offshore Diving Industry Agreement, we have agreed with the employers that no further review will take place until the scheduled anniversary date which is November 1st 2018. Talks will commence with the employers early 2018.

COTA – The Catering Offshore Traders Agreement which is a Unite and RMT agreement we had the employers final offer for the 2016/17 period which was a freeze on all conditions. This was put out to a referendum/ballot and was rejected by RMT and Unite members with 68% to 32% voting to reject. The employers have requested a further meeting with the Unions/Joint Shop Steward negotiating committee and this was due to take place the week we were producing this update. Members should look out for further updates which will be released by Unite and RMT.

OCA – Offshore Contractors Association is an agreement with Unite & GMB and the members of both unions have rejected an improved offer from the OCA employers. The Trade Unions will now move to a ballot for industrial action and have asked if RMT members employed by OCA companies will also participate in a ballot for industrial action. This matter is being considered by the RMT National Executive Committee and a further update will be released.

Gulfmark – Is a supply vessel company agreement and we are currently seeking a meeting with the company and its new management team. We need to discuss the agreement and the current market conditions which have caused the company serious difficulties and cost our members significant redundancies and cuts to conditions.


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Steve Doran Nautalis

Nautilus has seen the downturn in the North Sea have a massive impact on British seafarers. More than 25% of Nautilus members work in the offshore oil and gas industry, with highly specialist skills helping to ensure the safe operation of platform supply vessels, emergency response and rescue vessels, seismic survey ships, dive support vessels and many others besides. Since the downturn began, hundreds have lost their jobs and many more have been forced to accept massive cuts in their pay and conditions. Even now, Nautilus is negotiating with companies over threats to slash salaries by as much as 40%! We‟re starting to hear the talk about the sector starting to bounce back – but it‟s clear to us that there‟s still a lot more that must be done to reverse the race to the bottom. OCG chair Tommy Campbell recently rightly highlighted the way that contracts invariably go to the lowest bidder and the way this undermines attempts to create a sustainable industry. Seafarers suffer particularly hard from such cost-cutting practices. It‟s a global industry – perhaps the most globalised of all – and things like flags of convenience have allowed the philosophy of lowest common dominator to rule! It is especially galling for us to see companies employing western European and British seafarers continuing to struggle to win tenders against others using crews from lowcost countries. The scandal of the two Indian-flagged offshore support vessels Malaviya Seven and Malaviya 20 illustrates this perfectly. Not only were these two ships competing for work against British-flagged and British-crewed ships, the Indian crew were not even being paid properly – with the seafarers being owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in owed wages. Such shoddy practices should have no place in the modern world – and it really is time our government intervened to protect jobs on its own doorstep! Steve Doran, NAUTILUS


Mick Brade Balpa

Mick Brade, BALPA

BALPA gives us a little insight into top subjects on their agendas. Babcock MCS Offshore Helicopters Mick Brade, National Officer at BALPA is leading a major recruitment and organising campaign amongst Pilots and Air Crewmen employed by Babcock MCS Offshore. The aim of which is to secure formal recognition sooner rather than later. The early indications would suggest that the campaign is going well and moving forward at quite a pace. Bristow Helicopters Pilot fatigue is quite rightly at the very top of the BALPA agenda and that is why we have launched an extensive fatigue survey amongst our Bristow membership. The survey opened on 27th March and will close on 10th April. As many members as possible are being urged to take part in this very important flight safety initiative. CHC Scotia Helicopters Following a lengthy pay freeze for everyone at Scotia we are very pleased to report that the finishing touches are being put to our 2017 pay claim which will be submitted to the company at some stage over the next few weeks. Clearly, the industrial landscape right across the offshore industry is still very difficult but we are hoping that an early agreement can now be reached.

Mick Brade, BALPA


Alan Ritchie

GMB Alan Ritchie giving the background to the problems our members are facing in the oil industry. The GMB along with UNITE have balloted our members in the OCA Agreement and both have returned a majority decision for industrial action. The employers made an offer of 2% but limited it only to workers on the basic OCA rate. We have emphasised to the employers the need to increase the offer. Both unions emphasised the cuts and changes to the conditions that our members have gone through. This offer means many of our members will receive no increase which is scandalous and rightly so the members have rejected the offer. The employers have consistently maintained that the clients they work for refuse to compensate them on the contracts they are working on, for an increase in pay that the trade unions are seeking. In fact, the clients are driving down the conditions under the banner of efficiency, but what it looks like is a race to the bottom. This approach is not good for anyone in the industry, it reduces morale. Workers see that Directors pay and their conditions are not affected therefore the only ones to sacrifice are the workers. Some clients we have been told are taking tenders from companies where it is known they put their workers on a form of zero hour contracts; this is a scandal and has got to be fought by everyone in the industry. I cannot emphasise the need for workers to join a trade union as we face those challenges in the OCA and elsewhere in the industry. Our members in Billfinger Salamis have seen changes to their terms and conditions and the company refusing to have collective wage negotiations with the trade unions. The future looks bad for these workers and I can assure you we will fight these proposals to make sure the company has to properly pay workers an increase each year and this is to be justified and negotiated with the trade unions. I would again remind all members to update your details with the GMB as because of the anti-trade union laws brought in by the conservatives, it gives more rights to the employer. The purpose, of course, is to take away your democratic right in participating in industrial action and of course, I would also remind all members to return your ballot papers when they come out it is your voice so make sure you make it is heard. Alan Ritchie, GMB

ocg

OCG – The Offshore Coordinating Group has successfully secured funding from Scottish Government to employ a project worker as part of the Scottish Government‟s “Union Modernisation Fund”. Our new colleague, Nikki, had previously been made redundant from the oil and gas sector and has been engaged until the end of April 2017, with the potential for a further year. Nikki was selected by the OCG through an interview and subsequently, RMT has been asked to manage the post from our Aberdeen office.

  • The priorities of the project are the creation and release of a regular Newsletter (you’re reading it and we need your input)
  • the organising of a National “Road Show” in early April and the staging of on-line/interactive “Webinar meetings” (look out for more information).
  • You can email Nikki with your reports, letters and comments at ocg.project.coord@gmail.com

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OFFSHORE COORDINATING GROUP OCG WE ARE HITTING THE ROAD AND COMING TO YOU Want to be heard? Want to be involved? Do you want YOUR say? We want to hear what you have to say, come along and visit us at one of our road shows, more venues to be confirmed! IDEAS FOR THE WORKFORCE, BY THE WORKFORCE For further info, please contact Nikki on OCG.Project.Coord@gmail.com


If you work offshore in the Oil &Gas sector can you afford not to be a member of a trade union?

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

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

North Sea installation gas leak detected

 

North Sea installation gas leak detected

TritonImage copyrightDANA PETROLEUM

Production has been partly shut down on a North Sea installation after a gas leak was detected.

Dana Petroleum said there was no safety risk from the release, which was detected in the past week on pipework on the seabed beneath the Triton floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).

It happened 120 miles east of Aberdeen.

The company said a small amount of gas escaped before the problem was isolated.

The situation is being assessed before repairs are carried out.

A spokesman said: “Dana can confirm production is partially shut in on the Triton FPSO following identification of a gas leak on subsea gas lift infrastructure which was isolated and made safe.

“The FPSO is continuing to operate with reduced production with its normal crew of 60 on board.

“All regulatory authorities have been informed. Work is continuing to effect a long-term repair.”

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesman said: “The Health and Safety Executive is investigating a recent gas release. Our pipelines inspectors are making further inquiries with Dana.”

 

 

Billion Barrel Oil Field Discovered West of Shetland

Billion Barrel Oil Field Discovered West of Shetland

Published in Oil Industry News on Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Graphic for News Item: Billion Barrel Oil Field Discovered West of Shetland

Hurricane Energy has announced it’s claim of the “largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf” after releasing details of a mega-find to the West of Shetland.

The find could provide up to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in what is hailed to be the biggest find in the North Sea since Nexen discovered the Buzzard Field in 2001.

The field will be capable of producing oil “beyond 2050”. However hurricane isn’t expected to have sole ownership of the field as neighbouring acreage has been bought by BP and Shell in the most recent licensing round, making them likely partners for Hurricane Energy.

Hurricane’s stock increased by 11% upon making the announcement.

Ashley Kelty of securities firm Cenkos said: “It’s absolutely colossal.

“It appears to be one structure that runs some 18 miles north-east of Lancaster up towards Halifax.

“It would be quite easy to say it is 800million barrels and it probably wouldn’t be difficult to get to a billion.

“This will be producing beyond 2050. Something of this size could go on for 30 years-plus, assuming a full development of all the resources.”

The super find comes in stark contrast to many stories that Scotlands oil is running out, and reinforces Oil and Gas Peoples 2014 Investigation that Scotlands Western Frontier or Atlantic Margin could see a whole new generation of oil and gas exploration.

Hurricane Energy’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Trice said: “We believe that the Greater Lancaster area is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf.

“The discovery of a 1km hydrocarbon column at Halifax validates the efforts the company undertook to acquire the licence and drill, test and log the Halifax well through the winter months.”

First Oil from the massive field is expected in 2019.

If you have a story related to the oil and gas industry that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our news team in confidence at: news@oilandgaspeople.com

 


Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

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http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

UPDATED: Oil workers’ cancer fears after rig radiation exposure

 Radition

oil workers have been left fearing they will develop cancer after being exposed to radiation while on a North Sea platform.

A total of six Wood Group employees claim they were put at risk by the potentially dangerous particles while carrying out maintenance work on the Thistle installation last
December.

They had been contacted by rig operator EnQuest to remove pipework when they were made to work in close proximity to the material.

The men were under the impression that proper risk assessments had been carried out ahead of their arrival.

But they were only told 12 hours into the job that the environment they were working in was unsafe.

The Thistle platform, 125 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands, was
undergoing planned shutdown activities at the time.

The offshore workers were removing a piece of pipework when they were exposed to naturally occurring radioactive material, rig operator EnQuest confirmed last night.

Steve Innes, a rigging supervisor from Sunderland with 20 years’ offshore experience under his belt, was one of the six people affected.

He said: “It was a shutdown so there was a lot of potential contamination.

“But we were all cleared to go back to work. So we spent a full 12-hour shift, with no protective equipment, in 40mph winds with all those particles in the air. All the dust was all over the scaffold.

“We received our permits to say all the tests had been done and we were safe.

“When we got back they told us we should be safe but that they couldn’t guarantee that we wouldn’t develop cancer or leukaemia further down the line because of the exposure.

“It’s a terrible situation. We were told they broke their procedures but not much else has been done.

“They have totally left their care of duty to their staff. It’s totally unacceptable.”

A spokeswoman for Enquest said: “EnQuest can confirm that, in December 2016, during planned shutdown activities on its Thistle platform, six personnel employed by Wood Group under a contract with EnQuest were removing a piece of pipework when they were exposed to low levels of NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material).

“The level of exposure was less than 1% of the level at which it is reportable to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). However, EnQuest advised the HSE of the matter at the time.

“EnQuest has appropriate control measures in place which are designed to prevent exposure to NORM. Following an investigation, additional precautionary steps have been taken to further ensure that personnel avoid any such exposure.”

John Boland, the regional officer of the Unite union which represents Wood Group employees, said: “We have tried to contact Wood Group and they are not being forthcoming to us. They have told these men they could develop leukaemia or other cancers but now seem to be walking away.

“To us this seems like a betrayal and a lack of compassion from their employer.”

The Press and Journal could not reach Wood Group for comment.

However, a spokesman for the service firm reportedly told other media: “The health and safety of our people is always our top priority.

“As a precaution following the incident, we down-manned our employees from the platform in order to conduct medical assessments.

“We fully supported EnQuest in a detailed joint
investigation and continue to reinforce the application of our health and safety procedures, to ensure the safety of our employees.

“Our commitment and priority following the incident and throughout the investigation has been to the health and wellbeing of our employees.”

A spokesman for the HSE said as no staff raised the issue no investigation has been carried out.


 

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

 

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

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) meetings for trade union members working in the offshore Oil & Gas sector

ocg

The Offshore Coordinating Group of offshore unions (UNITE, RMT, GMB, Nautilus International and BALPA) was launched in February 2016.

 

The aims and objectives of the Group are to:

• Co-ordinate the recruitment and organisation of all employees in the offshore oil and gas industries and thereafter to seek recognition on their behalf.

• Campaign to improve both the quality and security of employment in the offshore sector and the health, safety and wellbeing of all offshore workers.

• Organise and pursue effective campaigns on issues identified by the Group in the interests of the offshore workforce.

• Organise and articulate the collective trade union voice in strategic discussions with Government at all levels, regulators and employer organisations.

 


OCG-square

10 March 2017

Offshore Coordinating Group are Hitting the Road and Coming to YOU!

Roadshow Poster FINAL

Roadshow Poster FINAL

 

Want to be heard?

Want to be involved?

Do you want YOUR say?

We want to hear what you have to say, come along and visit us at one of our road shows, more venues to be confirmed!

  • Monday 3 April 17’ 6pm – 8pm

Newcastle Jurys Inn (city centre)

  • Tuesday 4 April 17’ 6pm – 8pm

Glasgow Premier Inn, George Sq.

  • Wednesday 5 April 17’ 6pm – 8pm

Dundee Queens Hotel

  • Thursday 6 April 17’ 1pm – 3pm

Aberdeen Jurys Inn

IDEAS FOR THE WORKFORCE, BY THE WORKFORCE

If you work offshore and not yet a trade union member,  is it not time that you joined an offshore trade union? Can you afford not to Join?

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

Offshore workers exposed to radiation

Offshore workers exposed to radiation

Steve Innes
Image captionSteve Innes said he now has health fears

An offshore worker has called for action after he and colleagues were exposed to radiation, BBC Scotland can reveal.

The incident happened on EnQuests’s Thistle platform, off Shetland, last December.

Rigging supervisor Steve Innes, from Sunderland, told the BBC he and fellow Wood Group contractors discovered they had been exposed to alpha radiation.

EnQuest said “additional precautionary steps” had since been taken.

Wood Group said it was committed to employee safety.

Mr Innes – who said he has struggled to find more work since raising concerns – said the workers now faced cancer fears, and blood tests were ongoing.

He said EnQuest had failed in its duty of care.

Thistle AlphaImage copyrightENQUEST

The men were working at Thistle, 125 miles (201 km) north east of Shetland, doing shutdown work with pipe equipment.

Mr Innes claimed they were told there was a problem two thirds of the way through the trip.

He claimed a health and safety manager told them a reading had been taken the night before and all the work was stopped.

He said: “We had all been working on it without the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), because they had assumed it was clear.

“At first we were all in shock.

“We have been exposed to radioactive material for hours at a time.”

‘Broken down’

He said they had been told the levels of radiation may not cause them long-term harm, but he was continuing to undergo tests.

Mr Innes said of EnQuest: “They have a duty of care. Their procedures have broken down.

“You can’t say ‘you’ve been contaminated but we think you’ll be OK’.

“I would like somebody to take the case on who’s not frightened of the companies.”

Thistle AlphaImage copyrightENQUEST

An EnQuest spokesperson said: “EnQuest can confirm that, in December 2016, during planned shutdown activities on its Thistle platform, six personnel employed by Wood Group under a contract with EnQuest were removing a piece of pipework when they were exposed to low levels of NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material).

“The level of exposure was less than 1% of the level at which it is reportable to the Health and Safety Executive however EnQuest advised the HSE of the matter at the time.

“EnQuest has appropriate control measures in place which are designed to prevent exposure to NORM.

“Following an investigation, additional precautionary steps have been taken to further ensure that personnel avoid any such exposure.”

‘Top priority’

A Wood Group spokeswoman said: “The health and safety of our people is always our top priority.

“As a precaution following the incident, we downmanned our employees from the platform in order to conduct medical assessments.

“We fully supported EnQuest in a detailed joint investigation and continue to reinforce the application of our health and safety procedures, to ensure the safety of our employees.

“Our commitment and priority following the incident and throughout the investigation has been to the health and wellbeing of our employees.”

John Boland, regional officer for the Unite union, said: “Unite believes that the way these workers has been treated is terrible.

“It’s vital for workers’ safety that there is openness and transparency about serious safety incidents, so that we can learn lessons and create a safer working environment for everyone offshore.”

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: “HSE has been made aware of this incident.

“However, it was not reportable under the present RIDDOR system (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) and no staff raised the issue with HSE separately so no investigation has been carried out.”


 

Health & Safety is no accident  if you work offshore get protected join unite the union get active  become a unite shop steward and get Unite Health & Safety trained ,Can you afford not to?

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

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

North Sea strikes on the horizon as Offshore trade unions reject pay offer

helicopter 23

North Sea strikes on the horizon as unions reject pay offer

Written by – 21/03/2017 6:00 am

Union news

Offshore workers could take “sustained” North Sea strike action this summer after a pay deal was rejected by trade unions.

More than 80% of Unite union members voted against accepting the latest terms and conditions put on the negotiating table by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

Similarly 61 % of GMB members voted to reject the OCA’s deal.

The organisation represents a number of major North Sea oil and gas employers including Petrofac, Wood Group PSN and Stork.

The OCA and the unions have been in a long running dispute over a wage increase, improved sick pay and paid travel time to onshore bases.

Back in December Unite and the GMB unions rejected an initial pay offer from the OCA.

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said the results of the latest ballot gave them a “definitive mandate” for industrial action.

And he said oil and gas workers were sickened after watching many companies lay off tens of thousands of employees since the downturn but seeing no increase to their basic pay in “a number of years”.

He said: “Our members have seen the sacrifices that have been made in the terms of the many work colleagues who have lost their jobs and others who have seen significant pay cuts.

“The message from them now is loud and clear: ‘enough is enough’.

“Future action cannot be ruled out. We said in the ballot paper that if this second offer was rejected then it would likely end up in sustained industrial action over the summer months.

“We will now discuss matters with our shop stewards and get feedback from members.”

In the consultative ballot, 81 per cent of Unite members voted to reject the latest deal put forward by their employers, represented by the OCA.

The latest deal outlined a 2% pay increase, including sick pay, stretching from January 2017 to the end of March 2018.

A further increase running from April 2018 to March 2019 was linked to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index published at the start of the year.

The GMB also voted to reject the offer as the ballot closed at noon yesterday (MON).

Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer said: “This result comes as little surprise given the attacks our members have faced on their pay, terms and conditions in recent years. The offer the employers have made is just not up to scratch.”
“Our members believe that over recent times they have been treated with contempt – enough is enough.”

Paul Atkinson, chief executive of the Offshore Contractors Association has pledged to try and get the unions back round the table for further talks.

He said: “We are extremely disappointed that members of the trade unions who took part in the consultative ballot have rejected our pay offer.

“Our priority is to find ways of avoiding industrial action. We will continue to maintain an on-going dialogue with union officials in an attempt to bring this to a resolution.”


 

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/