3 November 2015
RMT Press Office
Offshore union RMT to raise continuing threats to jobs, maintenance, skills and safety in evidence submission to the Department for Energy and Climate Change today.
In an evidence gathering exercise with the Department for Energy and Climate Change today – 3rd November – offshore union RMT will submit documentation that confronts the Oil and Gas Authority head on with a wide range of issues that the union believes threaten the long term security of the UK’s oil and gas industry and the jobs that it supports:
• The clearance of safety critical maintenance backlogs continues to be neglected by industry and threatens long term sustainable recovery of North Sea reserves.
• The OGA will struggle to revitalise exploration if the industry continues to haemorrhage jobs and skills, as well as undermining collective bargaining agreements such as the Offshore Divers Industry Agreement.
• The offshore skills base is under serious threat from the way maximising economic recovery is being interpreted and the OGA must influence commercial behaviour in the offshore industry to protect the domestic skills base.
• OGA should be represented on the industry body currently being set up to oversee the introduction of the EU Offshore Safety Directive.
• The OGA must challenge practices in the offshore supply chain such as social dumping on offshore supply and decommissioning vessels, if it is to affect changes to the culture and commercial behaviour of offshore oil and gas companies in order to maximise sustainable economic recovery.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“MPs on the DECC Select Committee need to tell the OGA to get an early grip on the offshore sector’s sub-standard safety performance which threatens the future sustainability of North Sea production. The OGA also need to spell out their plans to change the culture and commercial behaviour of oil and gas companies, contractors and the offshore supply chain. It is essential that these plans recognise the importance of protecting the local and national skills base in maximising sustainable economic recovery from the UK Continental Shelf.”
RMT National Secretary, Steve Todd, stated:
“UK workers in the offshore sector and the supply chain are being hounded out of jobs by voracious employers who are exploiting the low oil price to permanently cut labour costs. This practice, unless halted by the commercial regulator, the OGA will be terminal for the UK’s offshore and supply chain skills base, with the economic benefit to the UK of the remaining North Sea resources effectively siphoned off into the pockets of private shareholders across the world, with UK workers and the taxpayers being stiffed once again. The OGA need to take tough decisions that will not be popular with the oil and gas industry or their supporters in the Tory Government, if we stand any chance of retaining skills and maximising economic recovery in the North Sea basin.”