Our Ref: SH/0001/OCA

27 April 2017

Dear colleague


Your National Executive Committee has considered reports received from Offshore Co-ordinating Group (OCG) Roadshow which were held in early April at which OCG affiliated union members outlined their views on taking the industrial campaign forward following the rejection of the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) 2017 pay offer.

The views of the meetings were loud and clear that it is now time to take action against the employers and all unions must be united in their strategy and aims. The NEC therefore noted those views and endorsed the recommendation of our Regional Organiser who attended the above meetings to ballot you and your colleagues in co-ordination with other affiliated OCG trade unions in the OCA sector.

Additionally, as part of the same process, the NEC has also endorsed the suggestion from the meetings that RMT should aspire to deliver a new bargaining model to allow us to negotiate alongside sister OCG unions directly with Oil and Gas UK (OGUK). Such a model will deliver greater engagement with workers and better potential to organise across the sector to achieve a more sustainable and secure employment regime offshore.

With this in mind, I have, under the instruction of the NEC, written to my counterparts in Unite and GMB to request an urgent meeting to discuss this matter and consider a new model for collective bargaining in line with the so-called “Norwegian model” and outline our priorities and plans for the way forward in our campaigns.

I can advise you therefore that I am currently preparing the ballot and I will let you know in due course the details and timetable for this. In the meantime, I would urge you to discuss this matter with your RMT colleagues and with those in other unions or not in a union at all, the latter of which you should encourage to join RMT as the stronger we are then the more achievable will be our aims. We also need to ensure that we see a massive turnout in the ballot and a massive majority in favour of taking industrial action. I cannot stress enough the importance of this as the Tory government has recently introduced a new swathe of anti-union laws which place a heavy burden in terms of unions having to reach certain voting thresholds and turnouts in industrial action ballots if they are to be valid.

Get the conversation going in your workplaces that a ballot is on its way for all those union members in the OCA sector which has seen massive job cuts and pay rates decimated over recent years. Also look out for details of branch and open meetings at which you can make your own views heard and hear how the campaign plans are going.

I will of course write to you again in due course, but in the meantime I would urge you all to continue to support the aims of your union, which is to see pay justice for all members in the offshore oil and gas sector.

Yours sincerely   Mick Cash General Secretary