Unite Takes Another Step Towards UKCS Strike Action
UK union Unite took another step towards strike action on the UKCS, as it served an official strike ballot notice to the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).
“Our members are growing angry over the behaviour of the OCA employers,” Unite Regional Officer John Boland said in a statement sent to Rigzone.
“If we are going to settle this dispute, we need substance, not spin. Until we get genuine commitment from the OCA to improve their offer, we will continue to act on our members’ wishes, and give them the chance to have a say on possible industrial action, including strike action,” he added.
After receiving the notice, the OCA said it remains willing to implement a 2 percent increase in basic pay for offshore employees, despite the trade unions announcing plans to hold an industrial ballot.
This level of pay increase has already been rejected by Unite members, however, Boland highlights.
“We believe that our offer balances the need to reward employees while supporting the requirements of each OCA member company and our collective overarching aim; to ensure job opportunities in the North Sea now and in the long-term,” Paul Atkinson, CEO of the Offshore Contractors Association, said in a statement sent to Rigzone.
“We will continue to do all we can to avoid any disruption. Industrial action will only serve to make investment in the North Sea less attractive and jeopardise the long-term future of the industry,” he added.
Earlier this month, Rigzone reported that the threat of strike action on the UKCS had increased, after Unite and the Offshore Contractors Association failed to settle a dispute over pay.
Independent conciliation organization ACAS met with representatives from both Unite and OCA April 19, with Unite confirming after the meeting that it would push ahead with preparations for official industrial action ballots.
Strike ballots are expected to last for two months, according to a Unite representative.
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