EV Insights: Unions battle for the North Sea

This week union bosses said North Sea workers were “disenfranchised and getting angrier by the day”. At pay cuts and redundancies continue to dominate headlines, Energy Voice looks back at how the dialogue between employers and the unions has played out in the past year.

Oil & Gas

OCA boss to step down in new year

Offshore Contractors’ Association (OCA) chief executive Bill Murray plans to step down from the post after more than 13 years, it emerged yesterday. An OCA spokeswoman confirmed he would retire from the role sometime in the new year, but gave no more details. OCA is the leading representative body for the UK’s oil and gas contracting and supply industry.

Oil & Gas

GMB urges Unite and OCA to agree offshore worker pay deal

The GMB trade union has urged its counterpart, Unite, and North Sea industry chiefs to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a pay deal for offshore workers. The appeal follows yesterday’s announcement from GMB that its offshore members had voted to accept the same offer from employers that Unite members rejected last week. It is understood there was a clear majority from GMB in favour of accepting the offer from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), which has 10 full members including Petrofac, Wood Group PSN and Stork.

Oil & Gas

Unions reject OCA proposals over offshore working conditions

Unions have rejected proposals offered by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) for North Sea workers in a move which could increase the chance on industrial action in the North Sea. Both GMB and Unite were balloted on whether to accept a new deal put on the table last month. The result of the ballot from Unite members was 63.5% against and 36.5% in favour. It is understood the union will be consulting with members in coming days following the decision. It is understood GMB voted in favour of the proposals but as the union had fewer members balloted their vote has been outweighed by Unite. The OCA's chief executive Bill Murray said it was "extremely disappointed" by the move.

Oil & Gas

Decision day looms for balloted union workers in OCA negotiations

A decision by union members over whether to accept an offer of proposals from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) will be made today. Both Unite and GMB workers will vote yes or no after months of talks between representatives from both sides. It comes after the GMB union wrote to members last month and urged them to accept a new offer from the OCA, which has 10 full members, including Petrofac, Wood Group PSN and Stork.

Oil & Gas

Unions call off offshore strike ballot

Trade unions have shelved plans for a strike action ballot over North Sea working conditions following negotiations with industry bosses yesterday. Last night the Unite union said the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) tabled an improved offer for offshore workers during the latest round of talks in Aberdeen. Unite regional officer Willie Wallace, said: “Today’s talks have been constructive and we have made enough progress to be able to put an improved offer from the OCA to our membership."