Unite the union today (4 August) confirmed its offshore catering members have rejected a pay offer from the Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA).
The consultative ballot indicated that 94% of Unite’s membership rejected the offer while supporting a continuation of negotiations to improve upon the 1% offer on basic pay, which is also not being backdated to last year as previously agreed by COTA. 80% of Unite members also indicated support for strike action and 87.5% were supportive of action short of a strike if there is no progress in pay talks.

The consultative ballot covers around 2,750 workers in seven offshore catering companies including Conntrak, ESS, Entier, Trinity, Aramark, Sodexo and Foss. Unite’s membership covered by COTA deliver catering and ancillary services across installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). 

Shauna Wright, Unite industrial officer, said: “The ballot result of 94% of our members rejecting the pay offer from COTA is a very strong indication of the feelings of the offshore workers. Unite’s members, and indeed all offshore workers, have continued to work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as critical workers including doing duties like cleaning Covid cabins. The workforce is rightly furious about this situation and they are feeling hugely undervalued. Now they have spoken and rejected the pay. We will advise COTA of this and that we are open to further discussion. However, if there is no immediate progress then we will move to an industrial action ballot in light of the indicative support we have received from the members."