UK offshore workers vote for industrial action over pay row

7 November 2018 (Last Updated November 7th, 2018 09:21)

A majority of the offshore workers affiliated to UK trade union GMB have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute with the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) over pay issues.

UK offshore workers vote for industrial action over pay row
GMB members are demanding a 4% rise in basic pay and associated allowances. Credit: Bryan Burke.

A majority of the offshore workers affiliated to UK trade union GMB have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute with the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) over pay issues.

The vote comes after the members rejected a pay offer made by the OCA in July.

GMB is set to meet representatives from the OCA to hold talks in a bid to seek improved offer and to settle the wage dispute.

Members of the union have been asking for a 4% rise in basic pay and associated allowances.

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “These workers have been instrumental in these companies’ success and they fully deserve what is effectively a cost of living increase.

“It’s time for the OCA to return to the table with an improved offer to avert costly disruption and reputational damage.”

“It is unfortunate that matters have come to this, but they can be resolved if the OCA employers see sense and make a fair and reasonable offer.

“It’s time for the OCA to return to the table with an improved offer to avert costly disruption and reputational damage.”

The development comes just days after another trade union, Unite the Union, reported that around 1,000 offshore workers covered by the OCA agreement voted for industrial action. OCA has also invited Unite the Union for talks.

Unite members planned strikes at some of Total’s oil and gas platforms in the North Sea in September and October this year in protests against plans to switch the existing rota system to one requiring workers to work at offshore platforms for three weeks at a stretch.

However, the strikes were called off after the union reached a settlement that offered improved pay to the workers.