Unite Scotland has today (18 January) demanded intervention by the Scottish government in response to offshore contractor Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International introducing mandatory vaccinations.

The policy,  which came into full effect on 14 January, is believed to be the first of any offshore contractor or operator to demand that its workforce receive Covid-19 related vaccinations or not to return to work. 

No worker is now permitted by CNR to mobilise on to any of the offshore platforms (Ninian Central, Ninian South, and Tiffany) it operates unless they have been vaccinated. CNR has also informed its contracting firms working on these platforms including Petrofac, Aker, EnerMech, Bilfinger, Global E&C that no worker is to return unless they are vaccinated. Unite has confirmed that it is looking at legal action against any company seeking to pursue a ‘jab or job’ policy.

Other offshore contractors and operators have chosen not to pursue mandatory vaccinations but instead to focus on education and communication to boost vaccination take-up. It’s understood that similar drives by other firms have led to over 80% of the offshore workforce being vaccinated. Oil and Gas UK has also encouraged vaccine take-up but not through mandatory enforcement

John Boland, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite has now taken the step to demand intervention and support by the Scottish government over CNR’s draconian measures. Our position is that we support workers getting the Covid-19 vaccination but we are strenuously opposed to any mandatory vaccination policy.

“Instead, education and communication should be used to encourage people to get the vaccine instead of workers in essence being told it’s a jab or your job. This position is supported by Oil and Gas UK, and to our knowledge no other operator or contractor has enforced such a policy.

“We will not hesitate to challenge any employer, including CNR, that disciplines or dismisses our members for exercising their right not to be vaccinated including the consideration of legal action."


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