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scotbeve wrote:
Neil,

Have you anything to add or discuss?


Scott

I'm not too sure Neil drops in here too much now as the branch has its own forum for members. Ill drop him a PM and ask if he wishes to respond. As well as actually working a regular rota offshore (not subsea work I might add) he is a very busy guy... but always seems to find the time to respond when asked.

regards
James Mc
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Mind you, with 2,273 views since Sep of last year many people have a vested interest in the topic for some reason.
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

Shocked Search First - Ask questions later Thumb Up
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Guys please don’t get me wrong.
I would love to see the UK sector have the same privileges as Norway & Australia. Let’s face it we grumble at/ about them but with a hint of envy. Just reiterating what I and the lads working with are feeling. Especially trainees being told “Get in the Union lad” Becomes hard to justify when they ask. “Why what do they do?”
Your Right James and appreciate your points. I’m just trying to provoke a response and bring the topic back in the light. As for the RMT news letter if it’s not on tracks it’s not on track. Perhaps they may be interested in plough and trenching.
I would like to see some direct contact from the OILC to its members with updates on its progress and ongoing situation with employers.
Good to see the OILC link put in there.
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jamesmc wrote:
Mind you, with 2,273 views since Sep of last year many people have a vested interest in the topic for some reason.


Or they just read all posts that appear on the board. Doesn't necessarily mean they are interested in a Uni0n.
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TTLchip wrote:
Guys please don’t get me wrong.
I would love to see the UK sector have the same privileges as Norway & Australia. Let’s face it we grumble at/ about them but with a hint of envy. Just reiterating what I and the lads working with are feeling. Especially trainees being told “Get in the Union lad” Becomes hard to justify when they ask. “Why what do they do?”


I appreciate that people may ask such questions. In the 80's I can clearly remember joining the NUS as a diver and asking the same type of questions. The answers were the same.... The NUS seemed to not be doing to much for divers, but by then they companies had just agreed to negotiate with the NUS to form a divers agreement. Divers continued to join and the rest is history. If spending £16.00 a month for the next year or so seems a little expensive to possibly help secure your future then I can understand peoples apprehension but guys.. lets face it I have often seen people blow far more than one years worth of union membership fees on just one night on the piss.. and what might that achieve other than a hangover? How about you view it this way.. your £16.00/month gives you a lawyer on retainer to sort out 'any' legal issues you may have. Join for what ever reason suits you. Freedom of choice prevails.

As has often been written before... it's no good waiting on the sidelines for the union to have sufficient numbers to enable it to do something and then join. People need to join in sufficient numbers ahead of the game to empower the union to do something. If the first few people that joined didn't join because they were not enough people in the union how would it ever have gotten off the ground in the first place?

Many people have joined from sub-sea over the last year... more are still joining. There are now signs of action from the union. It may be a long slow fight (such as that of the divers) but if people get behind it it will succeed. If people expect quick results.. like 'all sorted in 12 months'.. it won't happen in that time frame. Remember the upcoming SS7 referendum ballot was only approved a few months ago. It stalled for union political reasons but that has been resolved and it is going ahead soon. No! it's not about strikes either before anyone jumps on that bandwagon!

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Your right James and appreciate your points. I’m just trying to provoke a response and bring the topic back in the light. As for the RMT news letter if it’s not on tracks it’s not on track. Perhaps they may be interested in plough and trenching.

I've often wondered why a union with thousands of potential members working offshore in the energy sector keeps harking on about trains!

Thankfully the OILC branch is fully focussed on offshore issues.
Due to the numbers involved the branch is understaffed and under manned. This will change slowly but our sub-sea battle is being fought by the OILC branch of the RMT and that's what matters. The RMT may not be currently as focussed on the sub-sea issue as it should be, but the OILC branch is growing on the membership numbers front, not only sub-sea but also the broader north sea sector. Given time it may end up being a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Not happy with the apparant lack of progress or value for money??
If you have any issues with the RMT you need to go through your branch which should be the OILC branch of the RMT. If you are allocated to another RMT branch you should apply to be shifted to the OILC branch.
There is a procedure to do this and the OILC branch will advise. This suggestion is from me and not official OILC branch policy but it makes no sense for our sub-sea members to be scattered across non Offshore branches and that includes general shipping branches as well.

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I would like to see some direct contact from the OILC to its members with updates on its progress and ongoing situation with employers.
Good to see the OILC link put in there.

An OILC forum for members has been set up for Subsea RMT members to use. This is nothing to do with the RMT main website. Plenty of links have been plastered around and the site address has been posted in the EiE magazine plus emailed out. There is a board there for Subsea, subdivided into ROV, Divers, Deck Crew etc.
The facilities are similar to those provided here in this forum.
Join the forum, and have your say in the ROV section.
Plus email the OILC branch secretary ( oilc.secretary@googlemail.com ) and ask him to add you to his circular mailing list for sub-sea members.

regards
James MC
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Guys,

I apologise for my absence from the site for so long. As James has pointed out there is a branch site now which he played no small part in getting up and running

Below is the text of a mail from, and my reply to, one of our members who had a specific issue about working abroad and being "day rate" rather than staff. My answer does try to deal with this but it also tries to go far deeper and hopefully addreses the general criticisms made here.

I've Cc:'d the mail below to Bob Crow, Jake Molloy and the OILC Branch Committee. I need to point out to you as I did to all of them that this is me speaking personally and it is not branch policy


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Hi Neil,

Have not been in touch recently as after reading Jake Mallory's letter I was knocked for 6 to learn that basically the Union could not help Day rate personnel or persons working overseas, which is me on both counts, even if 20 years as day rate.

To tell the truth I only stayed in the Union to be able to cast my vote in the ballot and help the persons who can be helped.

This is the reason I am writing; I am currently offshore and not expecting to be home before the xxx xxxx, therefore if a ballot paper has been sent to me I will not be able to vote. Is it possible to have a copy e-mailed to me to cast my vote and either scan and e-mail it back or get someone going back to the UK to post it if necessary?

Thanks

Regards

Xxxxxx




Xxxxxx

I appreciate your concern. And I recognise that you, like a whole number of our members have joined the union and have participated in this campaign without any assurances that you will eventually be personally covered by any agreement. I salute you and every other "subsea" worker who has spoken out so far.

We are, I believe, as a union (or maybe I should say a section of a union), at a bit of a crisis point here. You are perfectly justified in being "knocked for 6". But it is not just day raters working overseas that are in limbo here.

Apart from divers (many of whom were day raters and worked overseas when they got organised and took action 3 years ago) and some caterers, the union has failed and is still failing to achieve representation for collective bargaining purposes for any offshore workers, even on the North Sea.

So why as a day raters working overseas should you feel like an exception?

The truth of the matter, as I see it, is that the RMT has not yet made a serious practical committment to "organising" the North Sea. And it is in the achievement of this that guys like yourself will be protected too - speak to the Norwegian "subsea" workers. Some of them work abroad. I can in fact put you in contact with Norwegian trade unionists in DOF. Their members working abroad are "protected" by the agreements that they have back in Norway. As far as I understand it international rates for divers are boosted because of the RMT agreement covering the North Sea.

It's not "technical" or "legislative" difficulties concerning you guys in particular. Most of our members, even on the North Sea, and directly employed, are locked out of agreements by labour laws it would seem, or at least by the way these laws are interpreted. The vast majority of our members are unrepresented for the purposes of collective bargaining because of the "sweetheart" agreements signed between the contractor employers and UNITE the union. And an even bigger number are outside trade union protection altogether because of the 30 year long failure of the trade unions offshore, and the indescribably bad "sweetheart" deals that attract few workers to UNITE.

If Jake was being entirely candid he might say that there's nothing much we can do for our members in drilling and in construction/engineering either. We have repeatedly failed to get the 4 weeks paid holidays for offshore workers that every worker in Europe is supposedly entitled to under the Working Time Directive. And despite union policy being to challenge sweetheart trade unionism in the TUC, the RMT leadership would seem to have shelved this policy. An opportunity to confront UNITE has been side stepped recently. There is a very good argument, following the same logic, to tell nearly the entire offshore workforce that we can't do much for them either. (June will see our latest appeal dealt with concerning the WTD - maybe, just maybe, we'll see some progress)

But the reality is that the divers got organised (across the entire spectrum of employers it is true) and they took industrial action and they won. It can be done. But it will take more than the emails of one branch secretary to turn your important fightback against "social dumping" in Subsea7 into a wholesale signing up of "subsea" workers throughout all the subsea companies. Maybe your ballot will up the anti. Maybe then the "big guns" in our organisation will come out firing and use the ballot result (if it is positive) to get the issue national coverage and all subsea workers involved.

But RMT needs to confront the realities of this situation. Either we are going to direct our energies and our resources into recruiting and mobilising the offshore workers or we are going to have to tell nearly the entire offshore workforce what Jake has, whatever his intent, already succeeded in telling you. At least that would be honest.

The national union has to stop marginalising us. We and our issues need to get proper treatment in RMT News. RMT News destroys the morale of our members when it drops through their letterboxes. It just tells our members that we have been swallowed by an organisation which has little interest in them. Our treatment in that magazine would seem to be a glaring insight into how the Offshore Energy Section is perceived by the leadership of the union. Our leadership has to start issuing the type of press releases about the issues in our industry in the same way that are issued daily about the railways. We need to be included in the RMTV productions. RMT needs to get our parliamentary representative MP John McDonnel speaking out for us. He did not even mention us in the "parliamentary" report to the union AGM last year. Our research department needs to begin to investigate our industry and arm us with the information that will allow us to propagandise and win recruits. Above all the leadership of our union needs to start speaking out - raising the profile of the union amongst our members and potential members. They need to openly pledge that their intention is to organise the North Sea to the same extent that the Norwegian Sector has already been organised, indeed to the same density as the railways are organised. We are not inferior to Norwegian workers or ralwaymen.

I've had reason to communicate with Bob Crow on a number of issues recently. And as an aside I commented on his appearance on the satirical news programme "Have I Got News For You". I congratulated him on his good humour and his steadfastness but respectfully asked him, that next time he is introduced as leader of UK's railwaymen, he smile nod and answer "and leader of UK's seafarers and oil workers" We need his profile to be as high on the North Sea as on the railways and in the country as a whole.

Whatever Jake meant by the mail you read, what is absolutely clear is that he cannot alone be expected to service even our current membership even growing at the very conservative rate that we are today. I'm guessing he's already working at full tilt.

One full time organiser and an office manager for an industry with a potential union membership of over 20,000 and an existing membership of over 4,000 is a joke. The smaller of the two unions in Norway, SAFE, have 6 elected officers and 9 employees including two lawyers and a para legal worker in their Stavanger office. The other Norwegian union IE must have something like twice this. Organising a similar industry in Norway is taking maybe 20 times more human resources than RMT are investing in the North Sea.

The fact is that we are at a turning point. Either we confront the realities and make changes, or the logic that tells us that certain workers can't be protected by collective bargaining agreements will turn into a self fulfilling prophecy for the whole workforce. Should we just admit that our members are paying their £16 a month to be represented at disciplinary hearings or industrial tribunals if they're foolish enough to raise their heads above the parapet or unlucky enough to get dug out. And, as far as we can see that that is how it's going to stay. If not, what is the strategy we are following?

I'll forward your mail to Louise in the Industrial Relations department. I can't see why the form couldn't be emailed to you as an attachment, and be printed off by you and sent back in to the Electoral Reform Society or whoever counts these things. But as I've already said. I don't make the rules.

Thanks again for taking the time and energy to get in touch. You won't be available for our next branch meeting in Aberdeen on Feb 18, or for the Offshore Grades Conference on the 22nd and 23rd of March in Aberdeen. But please alert any other of our members to these meetings.

And in the meantime would you have a look at some of the resolutions that will be going before the branch with a view to puting thm to the conference and to the AGM.

I would really appreciate your comments for and against. Please have your say. Try and get some discussion with other members and let me know what they're saying too. I'll make sure the branch hears your voice.

In the meantime I urge you to stay in the union and continue to air your views as best you can. I appreciate your feedback

Have a safe trip

fraternally

neil
OILC Branch Secretary
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We are currently in the process of starting the International Union of Sub-Sea Engineers to bring together the offshore world. This union will be for ROV Operators, Survey Technicians and Divers along with their apprentices. This will be able to provide a steady pay scale across the world along with benefits, retirement etc. We are currently looking for interested parties that would show interest in a Union for the workers. This union will represent workers from around the world through various Local Halls. Currently we are looking to see the interest in the ROV and Diving world. Message us for more details or to show your interest.
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I think I will stick with the IROVA thanks......................... Very Happy
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
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Life is not black and white, this has been the threat for many years, and in certain non-skilled areas, it worked, the problem is that, you can flood the market with cheap asian trainees, and most will not reach supervisor because they will have left and set up the nice life in their home countries well before getting to this stage, they do not have the same mentality or costs as a UK person with the big house big car, expensive wife and kids, they earn 100,000 dollars in 5 years, and they can retire on that, long before ever making a supervisor. Fact also that these countries do not have an engineering background, and it takes a long time to change the culture of a country and it's people. People who live in asia are much less worried about asians taking over their jobs, as they know the way the majority of asians generally are, and they are no where near a driven as western people. Not saying this will not change, but not in the next 5 years, and all the likes of SS7 will end up doing is constantly taking on more and more trainees, until their own experienced staff have had enough and simply leave, then the standard will fall through the floor, and then they will have to examine again their policy.


One more comment, Kalbo, Love the picture
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Yeah !
Don't forget there will be another glut of people coming over to the west from the far far west 'cause they are losing their jobs in GOM Confused
Sad to say we are swamped Shocked
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
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Guys,

Sorry about the silence. I've been on holiday since I got the email alert that there was some sort of discussion on the forum.

I've just come to the end of an unsedifying stint as RMT Council of Executive member (on the union leadership) and I'm no longer an OILC Branch officer. I'm currently involved in an internal RMT discussion concerning RMT's relationship with it's offshore energy branch and going back to the merger itself.

It hasn't exactly been an electrifying discussion so far, but who knows.

I'll certainly come back on line and discuss with any ROVers who would be interested in my analysis of what has happened so far. At this very moment I'd be hard pressed to come up with any sort of very coherent opinion as to how ROVers wanting to emulate the divers' success might proceed. But I really need to see how things pan out in the RMT before I rattle my gums on here again.


Just glad to see you guys still at it. I felt the loss of the Nok er Nok website greatly, and appreciated all the hard work that was put in by James and others.

fraternally

neil
OILC Branch Secretary
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I'm still a RMT member. Just haven't got round to cancelling the membership but every time I review my outgoings its always there. That thought of why do I bother.
So why do I bother ? Why do you bother ?
The ball I thought was rolling. What an idiot I was !!!
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Join the................... Club Laughing
Put ya brain in gear before ye open thy gob !
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Jobs to do when I get home (in no particular order)
Cut the grass
Clean the house
Walk the dog
Wash the car
Cancel union membership

Had enough.
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pizzadude wrote:
One more comment, Kalbo, Love the picture


PDude, Would you like her number, lol...

My membership was also canceled early last year...I still know a few ROV people still paying their dues as it does offer them some benefit/piece of mind...

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