Scotland business

GMB members vote for industrial action in offshore dispute

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GMB members working offshore have voted to take industrial action.

The union, along with the Unite union, is in dispute with the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) over pay.

A ballot of Unite members working offshore failed to reach the threshold needed to take strike action over pay conditions.

The OCA said it was disappointed by the vote and said it planned to meet union officials as soon as possible to resume negotiations.

Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said: "GMB has long been saying that our members have got to the stage where enough is enough and this ballot result clearly sends a message to the OCA and their clients that they are sick to the back teeth of being down the pecking order in terms of the industries priorities.

"Our members have now decided that unless the OCA comes back to the table with an improved offer they are prepared to take industrial action."

'Offer on table'

He added: "GMB members have played their part over the past few years seeing thousands of job losses and pay freezes and quite rightly want the offshore industry to recognise the sacrifices they have made.

"We have written to our members and to the employers today setting out the ballot results in full and will now consult on the next steps."

Although the majority of Unite workers voted to strike, the numbers did not meet the required 50% threshold needed by law.

Paul Atkinson, chief executive of the OCA said: "We are disappointed that members of the GMB have voted in favour of industrial action.

"We have also been informed by Unite that less than 50% of those eligible to vote supported industrial action.

"We plan to meet with union officials as soon as possible in order to resume negotiations."

He added: "Our offer, which guarantees that basic and associated pay elements will increase by a minimum of 2% for each of the next two years, remains on the table.

"It's important that we work together to nurture the green shoots of recovery. It's in everyone's interest to make the UKCS an attractive place to do business, with stable industrial relations and predictable costs."

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