Trade union bosses have reacted with fury following the collapse of talks aimed at halting a decades-old industry-wide partnership.
Representatives from Unite say they were told by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) it intends to press ahead with plans to end the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement (OCPA) next month on cost grounds.
Unite leaders say “all options are on the table” as it looks at ways to protect the agreement.
It also criticised the OCA for ignoring a survey commissioned by Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), showing its own members valued the current agreement.
The union say the OCA refused to confirm it would adhere to current rates of pay and existing codes of practice set for the industry.
Unite’s Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said: “The decision by the OCA to terminate the current industry wide agreement is a massive step backwards in the offshore sector. It will compromise safety, jobs, pay and lead to further casualisation.
“Unite will consult with our members, and we will use whatever action is required to maintain their terms and conditions.
“All options are on the table. We also asked for a delay on any decision to serve notice due to the Covid-19 crisis but the OCA directly refused this.
“It’s a shameful step by offshore contractors which will lead to greater instability and uncertainty in the sector at exactly the worse possible time.”
The OCA said no final decision had been reached – and one is not expected until late June.
OCA member companies have proposed to replace the existing industry-wide association with company-specific voluntary arrangements with unions.
And OCA chiefs have also proposed its executive team focus on creating guidelines and practices for areas including health and wellbeing.
A spokesman said: “OCA member companies believe that there are significant advantages in moving quickly to establish a new model that meets the needs of a rapidly changing industry. The board has instructed the OCA executive team to urgently accelerate its stakeholder engagement programme in order to develop a robust framework for employee relations in the sector after the OCPA.
“The OCA Board has also re-stated its commitment that it won’t make a final decision regarding serving notice on the OCPA until 30th June at the earliest.”