Unite says it is a ‘slap in the face’ that a global engineering firm wants to slash redundancy payments for staff who have helped the company continue to make big profits.
In July, Oceaneering announced that it was looking to make around 120 workers in Rosyth redundant. The company has gone back on previous agreements with Unite, and now says it will pay the bare legal minimum in redundancy pay.
In 2015, Oceaneering made profits of over $231 million, and its Chief Executive Kevin McEvoy made more than $7 million. The company is registered in the corporate tax haven of Delaware in the United States.
Oceaneering provides engineering services and products, primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry.
Unite members began a continuous overtime ban at Oceaneering in Rosyth on Friday 2 September, to be followed by a 48-hour strike from Tuesday 6 September.
Unite Regional Officer Ian Ewing said: “We remain in consultation with the company to try save as many workers as we can from compulsory redundancy.
“We have continued to raise the issue of redundancy pay, and our message is quite clear - our members have worked their socks off to deliver for this company and they should be treated with fairness and respect.
“Our members accepted there would be no wage rise in 2015 and 2016 – and this has helped the company keep healthy profits in a difficult period. We understand that the work done in Rosyth has made the company over $15 million in the first six months of 2016.
“For the company to then declare over half of their workforce at risk of redundancy and to say that they intend to only pay statutory redundancy is a slap in the face.
“Our members will not accept such unfair treatment. They are shocked and angry. That is why they have instructed the union to commence with the industrial dispute action.”
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Unite regional officer Ian Ewing on 07958 624 147 / 01382 227369. Or Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / firstname.lastname@example.org