UK union presses on with offshore strike ballot plans

UK’s offshore trade union Unite is pushing ahead with preparations for an official ballot on industrial action.

Offshore members of Unite the union are in the middle of a dispute over pay and conditions with their employers, represented by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

Unite, along with the GMB union, is seeking a wage increase for offshore members, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time to an employer’s onshore base.

The OCA represents nine companies: AMEC Foster Wheeler, Aker Offshore Partner, Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services UK, Cape PLC, Muehlhan Industrial Services Ltd, Petrofac Facilities Management, Sparrows Offshore Services, Stork Technical Services, and Wood Group PSN.

Representatives of Unite on Wednesday met with the independent conciliation ACAS. Officers from ACAS also met with representatives of the OCA.

After the meeting, Unite confirmed that it would continue with preparations for official industrial action ballots.

To remind, 81 percent of Unite members in March voted to reject the latest deal put forward by the OCA.

This was the second pay offer rejected by union members. Namely, in December, 85 percent of Unite members voted to reject a previous OCA proposal that, according to the union, would have seen no increase in their pay and no improvement to their terms and conditions.

No negotiations had been held between Unite the OCA since workers rejected the pay deal in March.

Unite regional officer, Tommy Campbell, said: “Unite members gave a significant mandate to hold a ballot for strike action in this dispute with the OCA employers. Offshore workers are gearing up to campaign for a Yes vote. It is time for all union members to stand up now, and fight back for better terms and conditions.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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