Scotland business

Offshore caterers to vote on strike

Catering staff on North Sea oil platforms are to be balloted on strike action in a dispute over pay.

The Unite union said the dispute centred on the refusal of employers to honour the second year of a two-year pay deal.

The union said it had served the Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA) with a statutory seven-day notice for the ballot start period.

COTA includes facilities services giants Aramark, Compass and Sodexo.

It indicated earlier this year that it was retracting the second year of a two-year pay deal, worth 1.3%, in an effort to secure jobs.

The union said the ballot would run for six weeks.

It said an offshore strike would be the first in a generation and have a significant impact on the delivery of catering on North Sea platforms.

Unite Industrial Officer John Boland said: "The point blank refusal of the COTA employers to honour our pay agreement has left us with no choice but to proceed to a formal industrial action ballot.

"Even against the backdrop of oil price volatility and industry pressure, COTA employers' profits run into billions and it is unacceptable that our agreement - negotiated in good faith - is now being ignored."

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