7 March 2019
RMT Press Office:
Offshore union RMT raises concerns over the impact on workers from today's Government offshore wind energy strategy
Offshore energy union RMT today raised concerns over the impact on workers from the Government’s Offshore Wind Energy Industrial Strategy which was published this morning.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“RMT is concerned that the offshore wind industry has already adopted a regressive business model based on sub-contracting and de-regulation. Costs cut on that basis are a completely false economy and inhibit job creation.
“We need high employment and safety standards across the offshore energy sector, ensuring that UK law applies and is enforced for all current and future energy workers on the UK Continental Shelf. This would protect pay and conditions for workers across the offshore wind supply chain, from seafarers transporting infrastructure and expertise to the skilled women and men required to install wind turbines and connect them to the grid.
“It would also ensure that offshore oil and gas workers’ with the industry standard OPITO qualifications will be allowed to transfer between sectors free from the barriers unilaterally imposed by the Global Wind Organisation.
“The Government’s proposals are woefully unambitious and represent business as usual for companies whose investment decisions are driven by the need to create shareholder profit. The country needs a viable, safe, skilled and secure offshore wind industry employing hundreds of thousands of workers, based on a model that sustainably exploits all our energy resources for decades to come.”
Note for Editors
1. The Home Office waiver for non-EEA crew to work on offshore wind construction projects, in place and renewed since June 2016, comes to an end in April 2019.
2. Crew on vessels, including UK registered, can be well below the UK National Living Wage of £7.83 per hour for over 25s. For example, a Polish Rating working on the UK flagged Edda Passat between Grimsby and the Race Bank wind farm is paid a contracted basic monthly salary of £623.
3. The past two years have seen the busiest phase of construction in the UK wind farm sector to date, with a network of nearly 3,000 offshore wind turbines meeting 21% of the UK’s demand for electricity in December 2018.
4. There are 33 fully operational wind farms, with 12 more either licensed or under construction on the UK Continental Shelf, with more licences to be issued by the UK and Scottish Governments in 2019.