Unite Scotland has today (9 March) announced that it is moving forward with a statutory trade union recognition effort at offshore contractor Altrad. Unite has decided to make the move after a month of fruitless discussions with Altrad.

The offshore contractor which employs around 200 offshore workers has refused voluntary union recognition and to be a signatory to the new Energy Services Agreement (ESA), which is designed to ensure offshore workers’ terms and conditions are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Altrad is the latest offshore contractor to come under the spotlight following the decision by Bilfinger Salamis to also oppose voluntary recognition and its refusal to sign the ESA. Fourteen companies have so far signed up to the ESA who are Aker Solutions, Altera, Brand, Kaefer, Muehlhan, Navitas, ODE, Oleochem, Petrofac, Ponticelli, Semco Maritime, Stork, Wood and Worley.

Vic Fraser, Unite industrial officer, said: “Altrad has made it clear that they are unwilling to join the Energy Services Agreement (ESA) and they are also not prepared to consider a voluntary collective bargaining agreement on any aspect of their offshore workers' terms and conditions other than pay.

“Given this inflexible position, Unite will now be consulting with our members on a statutory recognition process with Altrad. It is disappointing that Altrad have opted to resist us in our efforts to protect the existing terms and conditions of the workforce or to establishing any improvements in their daily working lives.”