Offshore strike action in the UK oil and gas sector has been averted after members of an offshore worker’s union voted against withholding labour.
The move came after offshore workers, employed by industrial services companies, represented by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), were asked to decide on whether to accepted new working arrangements.
Much of the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector have been moving workforces onto equal time rotation patterns and cutting jobs in a bid to survive the ongoing slump in global oil prices.
Unite Strike Vote
Unite announced Friday, January 8th, that a ballot held on the matter returned a result of over 50% against action.
in a statement Unite said: voted to accept improved holiday entitlement and a joint review of the ‘three and three’ equal time shift rotations by over 50 percent.”
The Agreement cements inlace a new deal regarding offshore work rotations. In particular, the arrangement allows companies to move their workforces onto equal time orations, in return for allowing works to choose one rotation off during a calendar year.
Within hours of the news being published, the OCA’s Chief Executive: Bill Murray, said: “We are very pleased that members of Unite have now accepted our offer.
“Throughout the negotiations, the OCA has listened to the unions’ concerns about the potential impact of equal time rotas on health and safety and work-life balance.”
“At the same time, union officials and shop stewards understood the need to take action together to reduce costs and become more efficient if we are to prevent installations closing and jobs being lost.”
“OCA member companies have committed to monitoring and quarterly reporting on the effects on health and safety and work life balance of equal time rotas.
“We have also clarified the situation regarding holidays, stating that employees will be entitled to request one rotation off from work time in each holiday year and that such requests will not be reasonably refused.”
Mr Murray added: “This is an extremely challenging time for the Oil and Gas sector. Today’s result allows us to move forward together in maximising economic recovery from the North Sea.”
“The new agreement will be applied retrospectively with effect from 19th June, 2015.”