OILC and RMT are to become a single organisation after the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee's more than 2,000 members voted overwhelmingly to become the offshore section of the National Uni0n of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
In a postal ballot which closed yesterday, OILC members voted by 807 to 207 in favour of the transfer of engagements to RMT, which had been recommended by the organisation's annual conference in Aberdeen last October.
The move had already been endorsed by a special general meeting of RMT, held in Doncaster last March, and had the support of the entire OILC executive.
"This is an historic day for trade uni0nism in the offshore sector," said OILC general secretary Jake Molloy, who will become lead officer for the new RMT offshore section.
"It was quite right that OILC members had the final say, but joining forces with a uni0n built on grass-roots involvement and which fights for workers' rights can do nothing but good in a sector that is notoriously difficult to organise.
"Together we will have the resources and the experience to organise for better safety and to win better pay and conditions and job security for offshore workers," Jake Molloy said.
"It makes sound industrial sense for two unions organising in the same sector and with the same outlook to join forces," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.
"Bringing our two uni0ns together will give us more industrial clout and can only benefit members of both.
"'Unity is strength' is not just a slogan, it is the single phrase that sums up why we are trade uni0nists, and today trade unionism in the offshore sector has taken a huge stride forwards," Bob Crow said.