Unions, OCA set for further talks on North Sea workers’ pay

The Offshore Contractors’ Association (OCA) will meet trade unions again next week for more talks aimed at ending a dispute over pay for North Sea workers.

Officials from the OCA and the GMB, Unite and RMT unions got around the negotiating table today, but have yet to hammer out an agreement.

The meetings were called after a series ballots failed to provide a legal mandate for strike action.

The unions said a majority of workers had backed a walkout, but legal requirements for staging a strike were not satisfied.

At least 50% of eligible members must vote in favour of industrial action for a strike to go ahead.

Once the results were in, the OCA invited unions for fresh talks.

In a joint statement, OCA chief executive Paul Atkinson and Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said today: “We have now taken part in further talks. Both parties continue to approach these discussions in an open and constructive manner.

“As a result we have agreed to meet again next week in order to make further progress.”

Officials from union and the OCA, which represents nine companies, including Amec Foster Wheeler, Petrofac and Wood Group PSN, have met numerous times to try to resolve the situation.

Unions have argued for better terms workers, including a wage increase, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time.

The OCA came up with an offer to increase pay by 2%, but it was rejected by workers.

Mr Atkinson said two weeks ago that the offer was still on the table.






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