Unite has this morning (Tuesday 24 February) called for immediate UK and Scottish government interventions to halt a potentially disastrous 'race to the bottom' in working standards across the North Sea offshore industry.
The call comes after the publication of the Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) 2015 activity teport this morning which paints a bleak picture for the employment standards of tens of thousands of offshore workers as the industry body claimed ‘unsustainability’ over tax, regulation and cost issues.
Unite which is currently undertaking a consultative ballot of its members in the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) which will run until 27 March, says the decisions taken by government over the next few weeks will be critical to the long-term future of the North Sea offshore industry.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: "This morning we can see clearly the industry’s intention to redraw the offshore landscape for the next generation and it bodes poorly for jobs, pay, skills and a safe working environment.
“This is not the way to plan for the future of our most important economic sector and the UK and Scottish governments, both complicit with industry majors over a strategic failure to plan for a slump in oil price, must stop spectating and intervene immediately.
“We are hearing nothing about how incomes and livelihoods can be sustained, nothing about protecting and growing the skills base which is crucial to the industry’s future prosperity and nothing about strengthening offshore health and safety regulations.
“Make no mistake, in a time of electioneering OGUK is spelling out its own manifesto which focuses solely on how employers - who have generated billions from the North Sea for decades - can maximise their profits with as much public subsidy as possible.”
- For further information please contact Unite Regional Officers in Aberdeen Tommy Campbell on 07810 157 920, Willie Wallace on 07712 444 952, John Taylor on 07810 157 919 and Peter Welsh in Unite Scotland Communications on 07810 157 931.