Unite’s consultative ballot of members covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) has shown ‘massive support’ for industrial action in response to attacks on jobs, pay and working time – increasing the likelihood of North Sea strike action for the first time in a generation.
The month long consultation exercise closed at noon today (Friday 27 March) and showed a 93.5 per cent vote in favour of proceeding to an industrial action ballot among Unite’s OCA membership, which could affect operations on nearly every installation across North Sea.
An estimated 10,000 offshore jobs have already been lost since the oil price slump alongside the industry’s attacks on pay and imposed changes to shift patterns from two weeks on, two weeks off to three weeks on, three weeks off.
Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said, “This massive support for industrial action should come as no surprise to offshore employers.
“Since the turn of the year workers covered by the OCA have been at the coal face of the opportunistic cuts agenda, which has continued unabated across the industry despite the Chancellor’s £1.3 billion tax break.
“The industry agenda is clear in that it wants to impose a reduced number of employees to work longer and for much less - it’s a ‘race to the bottom’ disease that is unsustainable and unacceptable.
“Unite’s message to OCA employers is simple: Our members are not prepared to accept these impositions and they want proper participation over their livelihoods and the future of the offshore industry.
“It’s not too late to talk but the ball is in the employers’ court.”
For further information please contact Unite Regional Officers in Aberdeen, Willie Wallace on 07712 444 952 & John Taylor on 07810 157919 or Peter Welsh in Unite Scotland Communications on 07810 157 931.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.