UK Offshore Strike Could Be Averted With New Deal

Published at 12:49PM - 09/11/15

Potential strike action by workers in the across the UK offshore oil and gas industry, looks to have been averted after employers offer a new deal to their offshore workforce.

The threat of strike action originally came, after offshore catering companies refused to honour a two year pay deal they had already signed with their offshore employees.

The deal would have seen all offshore catering staff receive a 1.3% pay increase on their current wages.

COTA

The association representing and negotiating on behalf of the catering companies, the Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA), had said back in April that their members were forced to stop the pay deal due to the slump in oil prices.

Both the Unite and RMT unions, who represent the offshore catering staff held ballots, which showed the majority of workers were in favour of strike action.

The strike would have had a huge knock on effect to offshore oil and gas operations across the British sectors, as platform operators would have likely had to down-man to essential skeleton crews.

New Deal

The Unite union said Monday that a new pay deal had been offered by COTA on behalf of its member catering companies.

The offshore workers union said that the new deal will cover improved conditions including: delay allowances; training allowances; as well as a ‘no cuts’ clause, that will be in effect until the end of the current agreement. 

COTA’s 6 employing member companies, will now have to vote to agree on the deal.  A ballot will be run until noon on the 4th December 2015.

Unite Union

Unite’s 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.”