4 May 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT welcomes crucial new report into offshore industry working practices
Offshore union RMT today welcomed a report by Robert Gordon University on the impact on the contractor workforce of the imposition of the 3-weeks on 3-weeks off shift pattern by employers in the offshore oil and gas industry since 2015.
RMT National Secretary, Steve Todd said:
"This report is a timely reminder of the shocking approach oil and gas companies and their contractors have taken to industrial relations since the oil price fell in 2014, after a sustained period hovering around and above the $100 per barrel mark. 3-weeks on 3-weeks off, now worked by a majority of offshore contractors, compared to only 17% a decade ago, is clearly driving a deterioration in the work-life balance amongst offshore staff. Yet it has never been subject to full consultation between the workforce, their trade unions, oil companies and employers.
“The practice is regarded as risky by the HSE and is not used in the Norwegian sector which is also contending with the impact on costs from the collapse in oil prices in recent years. Instead, the urgent priority of maximising economic recovery has subjugated workers' rights in favour of hammering labour costs to preserve profitability, all with the stamp of Government approval We continue to completely oppose this shift pattern and its imposition on the contractor workforce and will use this report to spell out to politicians, regulators and the public the liberties that continue to be taken by some oil companies and their contractors - 3-on 3-off is not for RMT."
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
"Offshore workers' rights have suffered during the recent down turn in the oil and gas industry and this report is an important measure of the extent to which employers have imposed terms and conditions of the contractor workforce which are badly affecting their work-life balance, as well as their fundamental employment rights.
“This report is a wake-up call to the whole sector but, vitally, to the Government and the Oil and Gas Authority to start putting this industry on a sustainable footing and not continue with day rates, 3-on 3-off and other exploitative employment practices which sees jobs, skills and tax revenue flowing out of the UK."