Union leader Jake Molloy said only MSP Dennis Robertson could have known what he meant to say after claiming there was “no crisis” in the North Sea oil and gas industry.
The RMT regional organiser said despite the politician’s apology, he reamined “completely bemused” by the incident.
Dozens of workers in the industry have hit back at Dennis Robertson, including those who have faced redundancy.
Molloy said:”On hearing the comments of Mr Robertson I initially thought it was some kind of satirical response to the news released by Oil and Gas UK, that production figures were up for the first time in years.
“However, it quickly became obvious this was not the case as the flood of emails came in from members complaining about his comments.
“I am still completely bemused by the comments, as Mr Robertson sits on the Energy and Tourism Committee and is more aware than most about the difficulties we face in the sector. There is also the obvious fact the Scottish Government has set up the “Energy Jobs Task Force” for no other purpose than to assist workers and the industry through what has been repeatedly referred to as a “crisis” by all of those involved.
“Only Mr Robertson knows what he meant when he made these comments and I can assure him that whatever that was, it has not been well received by offshore workers, to put it mildly!”
Comments from workers included Louise Bruce, who said:”As a loyal member of the SNP & a resident of Aberdeen who has been directly & terribly affected by the crisis in the oil industry, I was disgusted by your comments. I think your complete disregard for the effect this current situation has had on the thousands of people that have lost their jobs is disgusting!”
Meanwhile Steven Holtom said:”Louise I agree fully. I’m also a member of the SNP and have just been made redundant after 27 years in the Oil industry. I worked for the largest global drilling contractor and they have released 30% of shore based staff.
“Dennis you are so very wrong with your comments. Yes the downstream side of the industry may show little change but globally the exploration industry and all the supporting companies are being decimated.
“The prospects are even worse for 2016 . You need to get your facts correct before blurting out rubbish like that. You owe the 10’s of thousands of people like me in Aberdeen an apology at the very least.”
Alan Marick said: “Which planet have you been living on Dennis? Oil industry in the North Sea just ticking along nicely is it? How come most of the drilling rigs are in Invergordon and thousands of people have been losing their jobs.”
The outpouring forced the MSP to say he could express himself better. However, he stopped short of admitting there’s a crisis.
He said: ”The sector faces clear and substantial challenges and as politicians it is our job to work with the industry through these difficult times. However, despite current challenges, I believe we must also recognise the continued potential of the North Sea as highlighted by Oil and Gas UK earlier this week when they reported on the first increase in production in 15 years.”