Unite members in the COTA agreement have voted to take strike action and action short of a strike. Following the ballot result, Unite are preparing a campaign against the employers who refused to honour the second year of a two year negotiated pay deal. An elected committee from the COTA branch has been established to set a programme for action, which will be announced in the coming days and weeks.
This is a historic occasion which has been triggered by the irresponsible attitude of the employers. WE want to protect our industry, save jobs and be paid fairly for the work we do. It seems like the oil companies just want to run the industry into the ground, and Unite are disappointed that we’ve ended up in this situation.
John Boland, Regional Officer said “We are not blind to the significant challenges facing our industry – our members have been at the coal-face of the downturn from the start – but it sets a dangerous precedent for employment rights if companies are able to impose change without negotiation and that’s why we are now looking at a strike action scenario.”
Workers in the North Sea are currently being subjected to an unprecedented attack by employers driven by a ‘race to the bottom’ agenda on jobs, terms and conditions. A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Oil & Gas Industry Council warned firms against making short-term tactical cuts rather than focusing on longer-term structural changes.
We hope that there will be a positive outcome to this dispute, which is fair and favourable to the men and women who put their lives on the line to make sure oil workers are well looked after and safe offshore.
Unite have produced a FAQs guide for anyone taking part in the upcoming industrial action and it can be found on our website at www.uniteoffshore2015.org