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Offshore Strike Ballot Step Nearer

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GMB Scotland Consultative Ballot On Strike Action Over Unilateral Changes To Terms And Conditions In Offshore Contractors Agreement In UK Waters

Several meetings have taken place with OCA member companies around the issues of rota changes, rates of pay, sick pay, holiday patterns with no progress resulting in “failures to agree” being lodged says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland Regional Committee has determined that the views of members be established via a consultative ballot on possible strike action following unilateral changes to working conditions for workers covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) in UK waters.

This is in response to a request by officers to seek permission from the GMB Scotland Regional Committee to move to an official ballot of members for strike action on the issue. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release dated 16th February 2015.

John Kelly, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB Scotland Regional Committee has been told that several meetings have taken place with OCA member companies around the issues of rota changes, rates of pay, sick pay, holiday patterns.

The first of these on Friday 20th February resulted in no progress been reached and employers going ahead with pushing through the client’s agenda for unilateral changes.

These have resulted in “failures to agree” being lodged and meetings set up between National Officers of Unite and GMB and the OCA.

GMB Scotland Regional Committee has decided that officers and shop stewards should first proceed to a consultative ballot of our members across the OCA member companies on this issue.

The Regional Committee want to seek and establish the views of the membership on how the unions should challenge these attacks on terms and conditions in the OCA agreement and whether members want to move to an official ballot on the issue. 

The consultative ballot will take place over the coming weeks.”

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Contact: David Hulse, GMB National Officer on 07971 266157 or John Kelly GMB Scotland Officer 07912 560805 or 0141 332 8641 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

GMB press release 16th February 2015

GMB SCOTLAND SEEK PERMISSION TO BALLOT FOR STRIKE ACTION OVER UNILATERAL CUTS TO PAY AND CONDITIONS FOR NORTH SEA OFFSHORE CONTRACTORS

There is a 'blatant opportunism' to fundamentally attack the terms and conditions of our members employed in the offshore industry says GMB

GMB Scotland officers are to seek permission from GMB Scotland Regional Committee to move to ballot members covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement over possible strike action following unilateral changes to working conditions.

This follows lack of progress when GMB and Unite met with representatives of the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) on Friday 13th February in London to further discuss the crisis in the North Sea caused by the decline in oil prices.

The Offshore Contractors Association is the body for offshore contractors based in Scotland. The agreement covers members working in mechanical, electrical and allied services, construction, modifications and maintenance work, design and project engineering, fabrication and decommissioning.

John Kelly, GMB Scotland Regional Officer, said “There is a 'blatant opportunism' on the part of some of the oil companies and contractors in seeking to fundamentally attack the terms and conditions of our members employed in the offshore industry.

There are also major concerns over the proposed changes to shift rotas and the health and safety implications that could follow from a major change. GMB believes that any changes to rotas could have a serious impact on the safety of those working offshore and we urge the companies to rethink the proposals.

My next step is to report to GMB Scotland Regional Committee. I intend to seek permission to consult members as to what response they want to see the union taking including a ballot for industrial action if the companies do not pull back on unilateral cuts”.

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