‘Breakaway’ drilling contractors condemned by union over ‘inferior offer’

The well was drilled by the Ocean GreatWhite rig
The well was drilled by the Ocean GreatWhite rig

A “breakaway” group of drilling contractors looking to offer different terms to workers have been condemned by a trade union.

The Unite union has hit out at the divergent group of employers in the United Kingdom Drilling Contractors Association (UKDCA) who it claims has “offered an inferior pay offer” to staff.

Regional industrial officer, John Clark, described the development as “deeply troubling”.

The trade union claims a majority UKDCA group including Archer, Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell offered staff a 5% pay increase over two years – 2% from January 2019 and 3% from June until May 2020.

But the breakaway group including Diamond, EnscoRowan and Noble have only offered 2% for one year backdated to January 1 2019, according to Unite.

A consultative ballot is set to take place on Wednesday 29 May.

Mr Clark said: “Instead of negotiating with one body, we now see a breakaway group determined to sow further division.

“This is ultimately designed to attack and erode our members’ terms and conditions.

“The UKDCA must get its house in order so that we can try to reach a fair pay offer for all offshore members covered by the agreement.

“If the association does not resolve its own internal troubles then Unite will resolve it for them through our forthcoming consultative ballot.”