A union has warned “tens of thousands” of offshore jobs could be at risk as North Sea firms buckle under the pressure of the ongoing oil price “crisis”.
RMT said the coronavirus pandemic and oil price “wars” could drive the UK industry “over the cliff edge” and called for “immediate government intervention”.
The union wants a series of actions, including for the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to “take ownership” of offshore installations in the event of an operator going out of business. It also asked for a standard two-week-on, three-week-off offshore rota to be imposed across every North Sea installation to sustain employment levels, as well as offshore employees be given “key worker” status.
Other demands included a call for government-funded unemployment and sick pay schemes for workers impacted by the virus.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said “We are hearing that exploration projects on the UKCS are being delayed or cancelled as oil gas prices plummet to unsustainable levels.
“This is threatening to take some operators to the wall, along with the contractor and supply chain workers.
“We agree that immediate UK Government intervention, co-ordinated with trade unions, industry and the Scottish Government, is essential to protect jobs and skills across the supply chain, as well as the investment needed to preserve the North Sea’s importance to the national energy mix.”