Unite offshore catering members (COTA)to be balloted on strike action
Established over 20 years ago, the Caterers Offshore Trade Association (COTA) represents six companies which supply catering and auxiliary services to offshore oil and gas rigs in the North Sea (Employers with Unite members grades A-E balloted below)
Unite, Scotland’s biggest offshore trade union, will today (Monday 26 June) serve formal notice on each of the employers represented by the Caterers Offshore Trade Association (COTA) – Aramark, Compass, Sodexo, Entier and Trinity.
Offshore catering members of Unite and the RMT had previously voted to reject a pay freeze. However 74 per cent of Unite’s membership demanded to be balloted for industrial action in pursuit of a pay rise. A pay rise which would be the first in two years after COTA reneged on an agreed pay rise due in September 2015.
Workers across the sector have had an agreed pay rise withdrawn and are now being informed by employers that a pay freeze is fair. Our members are being told that the offshore oil and gas industry cannot afford a pay rise despite pay rises being offered to other offshore workers.
Unite regional officer Vic Fraser said: “Within the last two years many of our offshore catering members have seen their offshore shifts increase to ‘three weeks on three weeks off’ resulting in many working two additional 84 hour weeks offshore, for no extra payment. They have had enough.
“Our members provide an invaluable service offshore including providing emergency cover for no extra payment. They are understandably frustrated about the way they are being taken for granted and undervalued.
“We have informed the employer that we remain willing to enter into meaningful discussions on a pay rise but in the meantime our members are telling us enough is enough.”
The catering ballot increases the potential of a far wider North Sea dispute given that construction workers who are members of Unite, GMB and RMT are also being balloted on industrial action in connection with their terms and conditions.
For further information contact Vic Fraser on 01224 645271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- 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: UniteScotland2007
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