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    OMU cites NUMAST agreement as a model

    News // April 20, 2001
    Offshore Mariners United (OMU) Field Director Dave Eckstein has hailed a recent labour agreement between a unit of Trico Marine Services and a British labour union as a model for good labour relations for American mariners in the Gulf ofMexico.

    "The agreement with NUMAST covers marine officers on Trico's British-flag vessels and is an extension of a contract signed in 1997 and subject to annual renegotiation. The agreement provides for a wage increase of five per cent and improvements in pensions and other contractual benefits," said Brian Orrell, General Secretary of NUMAST, the union representing the Trico officers.

    "It is a good contract for the men and it is a good contract for Trico,and we are all benefiting together from the improving market conditions in theoffshore sector," Orrell said.

    "NUMAST has a good and valued relationship with Trico in the UK, where labour and management work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill. Based on our experience with the company, it is difficult to understand why it is so different inthe United States, where American mariners are still fighting to gain their full legal rights for union representation."

    "I agree with Brian Orrell that a good collective bargaining agreement isa sound basis for a productive relationship between workers and managers,"remarked Eckstein.

    "Trico is guilty of enforcing a double standard against its workers. Onthe one hand, it signs a fair agreement with NUMAST for some of its workers,and on the other hand it wages a campaign of fear and intimidation againstmariners here at home. Offshore Mariners United is committed to correctingthis injustice, and others, and helping to establish the basis upon whichAmerican Gulf Coast mariners can receive a fair wage under fair workingconditions," added Eckstein.

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