Unite, GMB preparing North Sea strike ballots

Crunch talks with the OCA have been rescheduled.
Tuesday’s seminar at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will kick off with an opening address from Mark Swan, group director of safety and airspace regulation at the Civil Aviation Authority.

Two trade unions are preparing strike action ballots in an effort to press North Sea employers for an agreement on workers’ pay and conditions.

Unite and GMB said they had invoked the “dispute resolution procedure” after members “overwhelmingly” rejected the latest offer from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

The unions said the OCA’s proposal would not have delivered the improved terms they had been seeking for workers.

The ballots on industrial action could be triggered in about a month if the OCA does not come up with a more attractive offer.

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said yesterday: “We’d prefer to negotiate a settlement on pay claims, but if necessary we will not hesitate to organise a legal industrial action ballot, which we have the mandate to do.

“It reflects that offshore workers are saying enough is enough.”

The OCA’s full members include Petrofac, Wood Group PSN and Stork, according to its website.