UK: New offer on table. Offshore caterers’ strike postponed

The UK Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA) has made a new offer to its employees, following a strike warning which threatened to affect the UK offshore oil and gas operations.

According to Unite, the UK’s largest offshore workers’ union, the offer could avert industrial action and end a long-standing pay dispute. 

The spat between the employers and workers began after the COTA refused to honour the second year of a two-year pay increase deal. COTA, which employs around 3000 people, has cited low oil prices and a need to cut costs in a difficult market environment as the main reason behind the decision.

This in turn prompted an industrial ballot which saw Unite members vote to take industrial action. (More here:

According to Unite’s statement issued Monday, COTA members, who deliver catering and ancillary services across offshore installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), will now be asked to vote on accepting a new deal that includes increments to cover, delay and training allowances in addition to a ‘no cuts’ clause for the duration of the current agreement.

Unite: Accept!

A consultative ballot will run from Monday, November 9, until 12 noon on Friday, December 4, 2015.

Unite regional officer John Boland said: “Following discussions at the request of the COTA employers, our joint trade union negotiating committee will put this offer to a consultative ballot of our COTA membership with a recommendation to accept. “

“We said previously our members are not blind to the challenges facing their industry but that revoking a long-standing agreement through imposition was a dangerous precedent for offshore employment relations.

“After the ballot result supporting industrial action, I am pleased the COTA employers recognised our members’ concerns and decided to pursue a resolution to this dispute through sensible negotiations.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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