GMB votes for North Sea strike ballot

Proper risk assessments and consultation have not taken place and the new rotas will have an adverse impact on member’s safety, health and quality time, says GMB, UK’s general trade union.

Members have voted overwhelmingly in consultative ballot to ask GMB Scotland Committee to give the go-ahead for an official ballot for strike action in a dispute over unilateral changes to working conditions for workers covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) in UK waters.

According to GMB, this vote follows lack of progress in talks between GMB and Unite and the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) in February and March on rota changes, rates of pay, sick pay, and holiday patterns that the employers are seeking as a consequence to the decline in oil prices.

The Offshore Contractors Association is the body for offshore contractors based in Scotland. The agreement covers members working in mechanical, electrical and allied services, construction, modifications and maintenance work, design and project engineering, fabrication and decommissioning.

Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer, said: “Members have voted overwhelming for GMB Scotland Committee to give the go ahead for an official ballot over the proposals from clients and contractors to change terms and conditions of employment.

“The vote quite clearly demonstrates the anger and frustration of our members employed in the offshore industry. Members are prepared to strongly oppose the changes from clients and contractors

“GMB does not believe proper risk assessments and consultation have taken place before unilateral action on this. We are concerned that moving to new rotas will have an adverse impact on member’s safety health and quality time.

“We will now move to the next step to ballot our members for industrial action. On the deadlocked talks we urge the contractors and clients to reconsider their proposals and get back round the table to arrive at mutually agreed arrangements.”


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