General: New pay talks as North Sea employers try to avert strike
Posted on 19.09.2006 - 10:35 EDT in GENERAL NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links
Talks between diving employers and the Rail Maritime and Transport Union aimed at resolving a dispute over divers' pay will resume in Aberdeen on Thursday.
Steve Todd, RMT's national shipping secretary, said yesterday there were no pre-conditions to the meeting, but he hoped the employers might put an improved offer on the table. Mr Todd added that as things stood, about 800 North Sea divers and support staff were still scheduled to strike from November 1. It has been claimed that a strike could severely disrupt oil and gas production.
The committee of employer signatories to the offshore diving industry agreement said discussions on pay and conditions resulted in an offer of a new three-year deal based on an increase of 7% for the first year, 4% for year two and 4% for year three.
It said in a statement: "Regrettably, this offer has been rejected by the RMT members and it is particularly disappointing as this is the largest offer made by any employer in recent pay deals concluded by the RMT. However, in a further effort to reach an agreement on this matter both parties have agreed to reconvene for further talks where a determined effort to resolve this matter will be made."
The RMT said divers' pay has risen by 20% less than average earnings over the past 20 years and it was claiming a 50% increase to recover lost ground.September 19, 2006
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