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Unite members vote to reject new offshore pay deal

Members voted against the latest offer from the Offshore Contractors Association

Rejected: Workers voted against the new deal by 81% (file pic).
Rejected: Workers voted against the new deal by 81% (file pic).

Members of the Unite union working in the UK oil and gas sector have rejected a new pay offer from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

Unite said 81% of those who voted had rejected the deal.

The union is pressing for a significant wage increase for members, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time to employers' onshore bases.

This is the second deal that Unite has rejected, after members also turned down an offer in December in an 85% majority vote.

Unite claimed that the previous offer failed to increase pay or improve working conditions.

Unite officer Tommy Campbell said: "We have repeatedly warned the OCA employers and other offshore employers that we cannot simply have a race to the bottom, with companies competing with each other to suppress the pay and conditions of offshore workers.

"Those companies who invest in their workers and see them as genuine partners will reap the benefits in the future. Those who don't will end up lagging behind, and will always face the possibility of industrial action from their workforce."

Unite said it will now consult members to find a new way forward in negotiations.

GMB, the union for offshore workers, has confirmed its members have also rejected an offer from the OCA.  

In a consultative ballot, 61% of GMB members voted to reject the latest deal put forward by their employers.

Dave Hulse, GMB National Officer said: "This result comes as little surprise given the attacks our members have faced on their pay, terms and conditions in recent years. The offer the employers have made is just not up to scratch."

Paul Aitkinson, the OCA chief executive, said: "We are extremely disappointed that the members of Unite who took part in the consultative ballot have rejected our pay offer.

"Our priority is to find ways to avoid industrial action."

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