Circular No: NP/004/18
TO ALL BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS.
Our ref: S1/1 S2/4 S2/5
11th January 2018
SOS 2020 campaign and Offshore Strategy updates
Further to circular no. NP/142/17 of 18th September 2017, I write to update you on the RMT’s national SOS 2020 campaign in the maritime sector.
I am in the process of arranging a national meeting at Unity House to set the priorities and key interventions to further the campaign’s aims in 2018. You will be kept updated of decisions reached and ratified by the NEC as a result of that.
In addition, in line with the NEC’s existing instruction, I am working to arrange resources to build toward 100% membership, particularly in ferry companies where we have recognition, and to seek recognition for UK and Irish Ratings at ferry companies and other maritime employers where RMT do not currently have recognition for seafarers for collective bargaining purposes. This will enable us to put more political pressure on exploitative employers such as Condor and Seatruck.
A public meeting in the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall, Orkney has been called by the union on 7th February from 7pm, to support the Nationalise NorthLink campaign. Public operation of all publicly owned contracts for lifeline Scottish ferry services is essential if we are to reverse the trend of decline in seafarer jobs and training.
We should also see the SOS 2020 campaign focus more heavily on offshore supply vessels (OSVs), where hundreds of UK Ratings have lost their jobs and replaced by ‘low cost’ seafarers in many cases. The campaign aims and ambitions for enforcing employment, equality and immigration law in the shipping industry all apply to the offshore supply vessel sector. Our efforts to reverse the decline we have seen in recent years in the OSV sector will be re-doubled, in co-ordination with local branches and port committees.
A meeting is being held in Aberdeen on 16th January to set the union’s national Offshore Strategy in 2018. Your union will shortly agree a plan of work to recover and increase jobs and training in the offshore oil and gas (including decommissioning) and wider offshore energy sector for UK based workers.
As members would expect in the year which sees the 30th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, RMT will strongly demand that the UK Government launch a public inquiry into the safety of offshore helicopter transport and that industry work with the offshore unions and regulators to implement a culture of continuous improvement to all aspects of safety in the offshore energy sector. You will be kept fully and regularly updated on the details of your union’s Offshore Strategy.
I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of members in your branch and you will be kept updated with all further developments.