Dickensian practices from Oil major and catering contractor
Oil supermajor BP has defended its offshore catering offering amid claims that oil workers are being denied snacks between meals.
It comes after allegations that the food galley offshore was being cordoned off between meal times.
One rig worker, who wants to remain anonymous, said light bites such as bread, fruit, cakes and ice cream are getting locked away after meal times as part of a change of policy. The worker highlighted safety concerns.
The removal of black pudding from the breakfast menu also provoked complaints from some of the workforce.
However energy giant BP said some food items cannot be left lying out in order to comply with food standards.
And the company said that it offers “extensive” catering options. The oil major has also reinstated black pudding as a breakfast option.
The source said: “It sounds a bit trivial but it means a lot to people out here.
“All bread, fruit, cakes and ice cream were removed and stored away to stop people from having a snack if they were hungry.
“There were barriers put in place to stop people entering the galley and just recently someone was reprimanded for entering the galley out with meal times.
“It basically means we can’t get any form of food out with these times and when you are working for a three-week, sometimes four-week, period offshore you can become quite hungry due to the nature of our jobs.
“Some guys on the drilling side work a split shift to allow them to change from night shift to day shift. This entails working eight hour shifts which means they finish a shift at 10.30pm and can’t get anything to eat until 11.30pm which is when they should be in bed catching up on sleep.”
But BP say that the only time offshore catering facilities may be cordoned off is to allow for cleaning and food preparation.
A BP spokeswoman added: “It’s important to us that everyone working on our offshore assets is well looked after – for many, offshore can be home for half of the year.
“That’s exactly why we provide the very extensive catering choices that we do, which includes a varied breakfast menu and a choice of starters, three main meals options and a dessert for lunch and dinner.
“And we respond to feedback – the new catering contract we recently introduced to all our North Sea offshore assets brought back items that our teams told us they particularly wanted, including specific ice-cream brands, branded condiments and black pudding.
“We also secured confectionery items, which offshore colleagues can buy, at cost price rates.
“Food is available at four different times throughout the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner and also at midnight for the night shift crews. Between these times, some of our restaurants may be cordoned off to give the catering teams enough time clean and to prepare food for the next service.”
If you have issues with access to food around your working practices offshore or your favourites taken off the menu get in touch with Unite and campaign for the oil companies and contractors to put the workers before profit access to food which is required to sustain workers who are working in a high risk and hazard sector working long shifts and rotas.
Get Active Get Protected Get Organised
Give the Oil majors food for thought
Join Unite the Offshore Union today