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    RMT divers reject 37 per cent pay offer and elect to strike

    News // November 2, 2006

    Attempts to reach agreement on pay and conditions for around 700 North Sea divers and support crews failed earlier this week when members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)  declined to accept a 37 per cent pay rise.

    The offer was tabled by the Signatory Employers to the UK’s Offshore Diving Industry Agreement and what the empoyers have called "a damaging offshore dispute which will have an adverse impact on work programmes" was due to start on November 1st.

    The final offer covered a new three-year deal offering an increase of 25 per cent over the first year followed by a minimum of 5 per cent for each of the second and third years.

    The offer was worth 37 per cent overall over the three year period and is one of the largest pay offers in modern times.

    A spokesperson for the Employer Signatories said: “We are extremely disappointed by this outcome. We believe that the union members have made a serious error of judgement in refusing what is by any standard a very generous offer.” 

    The Offshore Diving Industry Agreement was established in the early 1980s and it is widely acknowledged that it has served to provide a stable base line for all its stakeholders.

    In the absence of an agreement the signatory employers will now have to make individual arrangements with their respective workforces. 

    Regarding the future of the agreement the spokesperson the Employer Signatories added: “It is difficult to understand how the loss of this agreement is in the best interests of anyone and particularly the union membership. This was one of the main drivers that encouraged the employers group to make such a special effort to resolve this matter but the stark reality is that that the union members do not appear to share our views on this matter."

    "The employers group wholeheartedly believed that we had tabled an outstanding offer that would meet or even surpass the union’s and their members expectations and it is unlikely that it will be repeated,” said the spokesperson. 

    The signatory members to the agreement were Subsea7, Technip, Acergy, Integrated Subsea Services (ISS), KD Marine, RBG Limited and Well-Ops.

     

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