RMT Warns of Thousands of North Sea Job Losses
Offshore energy union RMT warned Thursday that the oil price war and public health pandemic could drive the North Sea oil and gas industry “over the cliff edge” and put tens of thousands of offshore professionals out of work.
“We are extremely concerned at the potential of the current double-edged crisis to permanently damage members’ jobs and conditions, as well as production capacity in the North Sea,” RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said in a union statement.
“We are hearing that exploration projects on the UKCS are being delayed or canceled as oil gas prices plummet to unsustainable levels. This is threatening to take some operators to the wall, along with the contractor and supply chain workers maintaining their assets,” he added.
Cash went on to say that immediate government intervention - coordinated with trade unions, industry and the Scottish Government - is essential in order to protect jobs and skills.
In a comment sent to Rigzone on Thursday, Julia Derrick, an energy partner at law firm Ashurst, said this is an “unprecedented situation” for the sector, “with an impact of much greater magnitude than the political and economic factors that have caused oil price instability in the past”.
“It is therefore crucial that the government supports the UK oil and gas industry to ensure that all the hard work of recent years to revitalize the industry is not completely undone,” Derrick added.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) describes itself as a fast-growing union with more than 83,000 members.
On Wednesday, the union set out a series of proposed measures to protect UK ports and the shipping workforce from the impact of the coronavirus. These measures included full pay for six months for seafarers laid off, along with half pay for another six months.
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