The establishment of a ground breaking new collective agreement for thousands of engineering and maintenance workers in the North Sea has gained the support of industry. A total of 13 major contractors from the offshore energy sector supply chain have confirmed they will sign up to the deal with the three trade unions involved Unite, GMB and RMT. Additionally, and for the first time in the sector, the agreement is being supported by the majority of operators across the sector.

In a joint statement the trade unions said: “The news that 13 major employers have signed up to work with the unions and establish a framework for collective bargaining in the offshore energy sector is extremely welcome. We will now consult with our members around the details and recommend that they support the agreement. The collaborative working of the trade unions and industry is an illustration of what is required to deliver a just and green recovery for workers and the UK energy supply chain. What we want to see now is Government support for this exemplar in collaboration.

“The new “Energy Services Agreement” (ESA) is ground breaking; a first of its kind for the UK offshore energy sector. We hope the deal will go some way towards avoiding the boom and bust cycles which have caused extreme difficulties for workers and employers alike over the last decade. The agreement will also have the flexibility to bring in more companies going forward. Stability, sustainability and security of employment for the sector are critical and this deal will help deliver that.”

John Boland, Unite Regional Officer, said: “Today, after a year of difficult negotiations in which Unite and the other offshore trade unions have done everything possible to get a new offshore collective agreement, talks have ended with an agreement we can recommend to members. The new Energy Services Agreement will give our members offshore a collective agreement that we can use to protect and improve their terms and conditions going forward.”