Unite, Scotland’s largest union, has welcomed a Scottish parliamentary motion calling for a debate over the future of offshore jobs, skills and workplace safety in the wake of the industry’s downturn.
North-East MSP and shadow energy minister Lewis Macdonald hopes his motion tabled today (Wednesday 11 February) will highlight to MSPs the human cost of the current crisis in the North Sea as a result of the slump in oil prices.
Unite, the offshore industry’s biggest trades union, has voiced its fears over the failure of oil companies and the UK government to prepare for falling oil prices.
It has also warned that quick-fire cuts to jobs and pay would have a detrimental impact on the future prosperity and safety of the industry in the long-term.
Unite Scottish secretary, Pat Rafferty said: “We’ve heard much about the need for a relaxed tax-regime to secure investment in North Sea oil and gas, but less about the impact on the industry’s most important resource – its workers.
“The reality is that people are paying with their livelihoods because of a failure by the oil ‘majors’ and the Westminster government to prepare for a fall in oil prices.
“Over time oil prices will recover, but there is real danger that the rapid, non-consultative cuts we are witnessing will undermine health and safety, and the future of the industry for years to come.
“Lewis is proposing that government leads a genuinely collaborative approach to addressing the immediate challenges facing our most important industry, which is exactly what’s required if we are to sustain jobs, skills and safety for future generations.
“We would expect all Scottish parliamentarians to fully support this timely motion.”
For further information please contact Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell on 07810157920 or Peter Welsh on 07810157931.
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