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UK Offshore Workers Strike Ballot

Thursday, May 21, 2015

GMB Strike Ballot Goes Ahead After Talks Fail To Resolve Dispute Over Changes To Terms For Offshore Workers In UK Waters

We did make some progress today but sadly not enough to enable us to go back to members with proposals to resolve this dispute says GMB.

GMB and Unite officials held further talks on 20th May on the dispute over unilateral changes to working conditions for workers covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) in UK waters. See notes to editors for copies of previous GMB press releases.

David Hulse, GMB National Officer, said “We did make some progress today but sadly not enough to enable us to go back to members with proposals to resolve this dispute.

We will now have to proceed with organizing an official ballot for industrial action as the members asked us to do in a consultative ballot earlier this year.

We will concentrate now on making the necessary arrangements to enable us to go ahead with EBRS for independent ballot for action. We remain available for talks should the employers want to pull back from going ahead with the unilateral changes to working practices that has provoked this dispute.”

End

Contact: David Hulse, GMB National Officer on 07971 266157 or 0141 332 8641 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

Copies of previous GMB press releases:

Release dated 7th May

GMB PUT STRIKE BALLOT ON HOLD WITH MORE TALKS ON 20TH MAY IN DISPUTE OVER CHANGES TO TERMS FOR OFFSHORE WORKERS IN UK WATERS

At the talks yesterday both sides put forward proposals and both agreed to take the proposals away to consider them and hold further talks on 20th May says GMB

GMB and Unite officials will hold further talks on 20th May on the dispute over unilateral changes to working conditions for workers covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) in UK waters.

At talks in Aberdeen yesterday 6th May both sides put forward proposals and both agreed to take the proposals away to consider them and hold further talks on 20th May.

Both unions agreed to put on hold the ballot for strike action. Members of both unions have already voted in a consultative ballot to go ahead with an official ballot for strike action over the imposition of these unilateral changes including the work rosters. See notes to editors for copy of previous GMB press releases on the issues.

David Hulse, GMB National Officer, said “At the talks yesterday both sides put forward proposals and both agreed to take the proposals away to consider them and hold further talks on 20th May.

Both unions also agreed to put on hold the ballot for strike action to allow time for the negotiations.”

End

GMB press release 27th March 2015:

GMB MEMBERS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR OFFICIAL STRIKE BALLOT OVER UNILATERAL CHANGES TO TERMS FOR OFFSHORE WORKERS IN UK WATERS

Proper risk assessments and consultation have not taken place and the new rotas will have an adverse impact on member’s safety, health and quality time says GMB

Members have voted overwhelmingly in consultative ballot to ask GMB Scotland Committee to give the go-ahead for an official ballot for strike action in a dispute over unilateral changes to working conditions for workers covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) in UK waters. See notes to editors for copy of previous GMB press releases dated 26 and 16th February 2015.

This vote follows lack of progress in talks between GMB and Unite and the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) in February and March on rota changes, rates of pay, sick pay, and holiday patterns that the employers are seeking as a consequence to the decline in oil prices.

The Offshore Contractors Association is the body for offshore contractors based in Scotland. The agreement covers members working in mechanical, electrical and allied services, construction, modifications and maintenance work, design and project engineering, fabrication and decommissioning.

Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer, said “Members have voted overwhelming for GMB Scotland Committee to give the go ahead for an official ballot over the proposals from clients and contractors to change terms and conditions of employment.

The vote quite clearly demonstrates the anger and frustration of our members employed in the offshore industry. Members are prepared to strongly oppose the changes from clients and contractors

GMB does not believe proper risk assessments and consultation have taken place before unilateral action on this. We are concerned that moving to new rotas will have an adverse impact on member’s safety health and quality time.

We will now move to the next step to ballot our members for industrial action. On the deadlocked talks we urge the contractors and clients to reconsider their proposals and get back round the table to arrive at mutually agreed arrangements.”

 

 

 

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