Scotland’s biggest union has called for urgent government action to protect jobs in the oil and gas industry.
Unite the union was commenting after a new report from the industry body Oil & Gas UK showed a massive fall in investment from £14.8 billion in 2014 to around £9 billion in 2015.
Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “We recognise that industry and unions can’t do this alone. We need government to take a much more active role in dealing with the major issues facing the North Sea.
“In July, we said that the UK Government’s Oil and Gas Workforce Plan was woefully inadequate and fell short of arresting a decline in the industry which has led to over 120,000 jobs being axed in the past few years.
“We have repeatedly called for a summit of key industry figures and ministers from the Scottish and UK governments to hammer out an action plan to save the offshore oil and gas industry. We repeat that call today.”
Unite also said that the UK Oil & Gas report showed the importance of protecting workers from cost-cutting.
Pat Rafferty said: “The report says that there has been a 45% drop in the cost of extracting a barrel of oil or gas. Our fear is that a large part of that figure has come from unsustainable cuts to jobs, pay and conditions.
“Companies have to realise that they can’t prop up their profits - or create a sustainable industry - by simply attacking the offshore and onshore workers employed in the oil and gas industry who are the bedrock of their success.
“We can’t just have a race to the bottom, with companies competing with each other to slash pay and conditions and turn livelihoods upside down. It’s bad for the industry, it’s bad for our members, and it’s bad for the wider UK economy that relies on their income.”
Notes to editors
For more information, contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.