Offshore union RMT has called for a “crisis management” plan to rescue British jobs and infrastructure in the wake of the oil price slump.
It has “major concerns” about the impact of cost-cutting across the sector with workers from Total, Apache, Shell and others complaining that terms and conditions are to be cut and shift patterns altered.
Major redevelopment and refurbishment projects will be “delayed indefinitely as investment dries up”, the Health & Safety Executive “will be stretched to maximum capacity trying to deal with the introduction of the new EU Offshore Safety Directive”, the sustainability of production is “at risk”, and the UK taxpayer faces a bill of up to £30 billion for decommissioning, it said.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “In the wake of the current price slump RMT is demanding that Westminster and the Scottish Parliament adopt a crisis management approach today to ensure sustained production, maintenance of infrastructure, retention of skills, and a robustly regulated regime in the future.
“If immediate action isn’t taken then we risk turning today’s crisis into longer term damage that would threaten the very core of our offshore industry.
“With tens of thousands of jobs at stake, along with the prospect of lasting damage to infrastructure, production capacity and the safety culture, intervention is absolutely critical and that is the case that we are setting out today to the politicians north and south of the border and from all sides.”