North Sea offshore workers put strike action on hold (UK)

The threat of strike action in the UK North Sea has been suspended due to a new offer made to offshore workers by their employers.

According to BBC, two offshore workers’ unions, GMB and Unite, suspended their strike ballot plans after receiving what is reported as an “improved offer” for the North Sea offshore workers.

The Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), the representative body for offshore contractors, had been in negotiations with the unions over job cuts and change of shift patterns.

STV News quotes Unite officer, Willie Wallace, as saying: “Today’s talks have been constructive and we have made enough progress to be able to put an improved offer from the OCA to our membership. It’s for them to decide if this offer is good enough.”

The agreement covers members working in mechanical, electrical and allied services, construction, modifications and maintenance work, design and project engineering, fabrication and decommissioning.

Oil & Gas UK, the representative organization for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, welcomed Unite’s Decision to put industrial action ballot on hold.

Oil & Gas UK CEO, Deirdre Michie, said: “Tonight’s news is very welcome indeed and we hope an acceptable outcome for all parties can be reached quickly.

“To secure the future of the industry, it is important that we resolve issues by working together – companies, workforce, regulator, unions and government.”

Offshore Energy Today reached out to GMB and Unite seeking further info about the offer they received, but we are yet to receive their response.

Update: June 18, 2015; 12:55 CET

In an e-mail sent to Offshore Energy Today, David Hulse, GMB national officer, confirmed that there is a new offer on the table for the workers to consider. “We have put giving notice of the official strike ballot on hold while members consider the new offer.”

Hulse also added: “Once we have everything in writing we will run a consultative ballot over a 4 week period.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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