Socialist Worker

Coordinated action can beat oil bosses’ attacks

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2478

Oil rig

Oil rig (Pic: Mirafiori on Wikimedia Commons)

Industrial action on oil rigs came a step closer last week after Caterers Offshore Trade Association (Cota) bosses reneged on a pay deal.

This is part of a wider attack on shift patterns and conditions.

RMT/OilC union members voted for action that could see a work to rule and overtime ban alongside Unite union members.

Cota workers regularly work more hours than their 12-hour shifts.

Unfortunately the vote to strike was lost among RMT members by just one vote.

Unite members previously voted for strikes and action short of strikes.

Offshore worker and RMT member Harry told Socialist Worker, “Although the result was against strikes it shows an appetite for coordination between the unions. This is a step forward.”

Bosses used scare tactics during the ballot. In a letter to workers they warned that strikes would increase “instability” in the industry.

Cota bosses have called for new talks. Unite and RMT members need to call on their officials to act on the ballots.

As Harry said, “The unions have a tool to take to the table when they meet employers this week.

“The only way to battle these attacks is with coordinated action.”

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