GMB members attack “blatant opportunism” as industry body reduces terms and conditions in wake of oil price decline

North Sea oil rigNorth Sea oil workers are moving towards strike action after changes to their working conditions as a result of the decline in oil prices.

GMB and Unite last week met with industry body the Offshore Contractors Association to discuss the changes but the GMB is frustrated with a lack of progress in talks, so has moved to ballot its members.

GMB Scotland Regional Officer John Kelly said: “There is a ‘blatant opportunism’ on the part of some of the oil companies and contractors in seeking to fundamentally attack the terms and conditions of our members employed in the offshore industry.

“There are also major concerns over the proposed changes to shift rotas and the health and safety implications that could follow from a major change. GMB believes that any changes to rotas could have a serious impact on the safety of those working offshore and we urge the companies to rethink the proposals.

“My next step is to report to GMB Scotland Regional Committee. I intend to seek permission to consult members as to what response they want to see the union taking including a ballot for industrial action if the companies do not pull back on unilateral cuts”.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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