GMB union urges more offshore talks to avert industrial action

A trade union has called for further talks to end a dispute which threatens industrial action among offshore oil and gas workers.

Rig in north sea


Members of the GMB have voted to accept an offer over changes to conditions, including rota patterns from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).


The deal was last week rejected by members of Unite.


The GMB is urging Unite and the OCA to return to the negotiating table.


GMB national officer David Hulse said in a statement: “GMB members have voted to accept the latest offer from the employers to end this dispute. We have conveyed the result to the OCA employers.


“In view of the rejection of the offer by Unite members in a ballot vote, GMB is urging Unite and the employers to join with us to seek a resolution of the dispute.”


It is unclear what effect the results of the separate ballots will have on the bond between the two unions.


Mr Wallace said that even though the members of Unite and GMB have taken conflicting positions, he expects the united front between the bosses to stay in place.


Mr Hulse was unavailable for comment when contacted yesterday evening.


The unions and the OCA had been butting heads for months over oil and gas companies’ efforts to offset the impact of the oil price slump by changing shift patterns, sick pay and leave entitlement.


Industry chiefs said companies had to make changes to stay afloat amid the oil price downturn, but unions argued that switching to “equal-time” would lead to a slide in working standards.


The OCA appeared to put the quarrel to bed in June when both unions recommended that its members vote to accept a revised pay deal, but the ballot results have put a spanner in the works.


Source: Energy Voice


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