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225 wrote:
South Africa is the new Philippines...


Eh and how 's that then?
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Because SS7's SA employees are on much lower wages than our European co-workers. Company excuse, apparently, is that the cost of living in SA is cheap....
Yes please, two sugars and a spot of milk. Ta...
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Because SS7's SA employees are on much lower wages than our European co-workers. Company excuse, apparently, is that the cost of living in SA is cheap....


Absolute rubbish. South Africans put up with monthly and other costs no one else has to. Firstly, there is abysmal public transport so you have to own a car, make that two if you ever want to service or repair one of the cars. These cars are amongst the most expensive in the world.

Next, South Africans have to live in virtual forts to protect themselves from crime. The costs of fortifying a home with walls, electric fences, slamlock doors, movement sensors, razor wire, burglar bars and an alarm system fitted with panic buttons and linked to an armed response company because police response may never arrive, is astronomical.

Food and supermarket goods cost as much as in the UK or Europe.

VAT is 14% and there are taxes on taxes. Electronic goods cost more than in the UK, Europe or US.

The only things cheaper are restaurants and pubs. Unfortunately this is what tourists see and they believe that everything costs less in South Africa.

SS7 and other companies are just using excuses to get first world class technical labour at cheap prices by exploiting South Africans.
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"first world class technical labour"

Yeah, go you Smile

If they are that good why are they working for such poor money then?
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I can understand ROVrat's frustration and I am inclined to agree that SA is probably not a cheap place to live at all. So I'm not sure how cost of living is a viable excuse for low wages in this instance. The rates will be based on whatever the companies feel they will get way with. If white folks in SA will agree to crap money then that's all they'll ever get. In that case I would say it's their own fault.
Not sure of what's going on in SA too much these days (on the ROV front) so maybe the companies are hiring out of the shanty towns and helping the misplaced, poor coloured gentlemen find their feet Wink

However, I also remember in the 70's when white SA divers were hanging around Aberdeen taking crap money. They'd fly in at the start of the North Sea season, hang around in guest houses with some offering to head out for a fist trip for free, trying to cop off with the company secretary's to get a slot (in more ways than one) and in effect undermining the UK day rate Mobile Phone manufacturer cart. Maybe someone at Oceaneering remembers that and are, successfully it appears, trying it on in SA. Although Oceaneering are renowned for low wages anywhere... look at what they are doing in India for example.


Last edited by jamesmc on 04:24 Mon 26 Apr 10; edited 1 time in total
James Mc
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www.rovworld.com

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I have some SA friends working for SS7. They are not happy working for the wage that they are and are looking to leave after spending a couple of years with them. This makes SS7 the worlds training ground for beginner ROV P/T. These guys are not stupid. They know what they are worth and will move on as times allow if they don't start getting the same pay. Their mindset is not like some of the other countries who you speak of that like to be the world's doormat. These guys struggle to find work in their own country because of BEE (Black economic empowerment) policies.
The question we should all ask is what are you doing to get that tech working for you onto a higher pay bracket? If they are being paid more the companies will decide for themselves that perhaps the hiring other nationalities in the north sea is not worth it ( lost contracts and damaged vehicles and being the laughing stock of the industry) What is the cost of a fiber multiplexer these days. I had a P/T from one of the other countries with 3 years experience blow one of these up the other day. There is a false economy out there about hiring cheap labor. I wonder how long it is going to be before the oil companies start demanding their share of this "saving" or just going through the CV of the crew and throwing these unsuitable guys off ? They are costing them money in down time too.
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This was very similar to what happened at Acergy (Stolt at the time).

About 8 years ago they started to hire quite a lot of SA trainees, Using the very same excuse that cost of living is lower, etc to keep there wages down. However 3-4 years later, these same trainees now at Sub Eng level, started to leave and go work for agencies at the going rate. So Acergy was the ROV training school then.

Needless to say some of us old hands started to complain, why we were training people up just so they could earn the big bucks somewhere else. Surprisingly the company actually listened and upped there wages to similar rate as the UK guys.

Some will say they are still on slightly less, but they get some benefits UK guys don't get, free private healthcare etc
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If I remember correctly, Oceaneering did a similar thing : it was during 2004 that they began with a recruitment-drive, targeting South Africans - yes, and one of the reasons was due to the country's proximity to West Africa (resulting in lower travel costs) - in particular Angola : the flight duration from J'hbg to Luanda is a little over 3 hours...
Secondly we were paid less, seeing we were told (as previously mentioned already) that the cost of living in S.A. is much lower : really?! I don't think so... it used to be a reasonably cheap country, but those days are long gone.

So for many South African, Oceaneering (like SS7 and Acergy/Stolt) provided training and then many folk moved on (like I) to agency based employment for the simple reason that the pay is better.
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Rayshields wrote:

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"first world class technical labour"

Yeah, go you

If they are that good why are they working for such poor money then?


Ray, most of the guys with the technical qualifications are white. The government of South Africa has made it extremely difficult for these guys to get a job in South Africa. Its an auditied legal requirement to preferably employ black instead of white guys even if the black guy is less qualified or suitable than the white guy. This even applies to hamburger joints and restaurants and is the reason why your waiter in the restaurant will most likely be black.

There is no social security or dole in South Africa like in the UK, you don't work you starve. Simple as that. It's easy to demand a higher wage on a full stomach in the UK. When the wife and kids have no roof or food, hubby will work for less. Any money is better than no money and the companies know that they can get good tradesmen for less. They are just as guilty of exploiting the guys as the Chinese are of running sweatshops.


And you thought apartheid was dead?
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Well said ROVRatt Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation

We keep hearing talk of this 'Rainbow Nation'... sadly, the reality is very much different : BEE / Affirmative Action : same sausage, different skin.
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What goes around, comes around.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro! (I came, I saw, I stuck around!)
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Sedco.

This is a measured response.

I sincerely hope this:

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What goes around, comes around.


Is a pathetic attempt at humour or an insensitive, ignorant off the cuff remark.

To imply that all South Africans deserve reverse racist discrimination is very offensive to me. It's akin to saying that it would be acceptable if the Jews murdered 6 million Germans after WW2 to even the playing fields.

Just because someone is a white South African does not mean that the person committed human rights abuses under apartheid. Just like growing up in the Soviet Union did not make you a KGB agent nor communist. Both were systems to be endured in fear of punishment. Yes, whites were punished for opposing the system so most just shut up and lived within it.

Apartheid ended in 1990, 20 years ago, after the whites, in a first ever referendum on the subject allowed by the then government, voted to end it. A whole generation has grown up without apartheid since then, yet those with a fairer skin are now discriminated against without even the remotest possibility of having been part of the system. And you're saying they deserve it?

Should you require a history lesson, please feel free to ask. Maybe this will prevent you from stumbling in and making insensitive remarks about something you know little about.

My apologies to the adults on this forum, but I deliberated for more than a day before posting a measured response.

Peace and respect.
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Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said:

“RMT members employed by Subsea 7 are clearly angry at what is tantamount to social dumping regarding the decision by the company to replace them with cheaper labour from other countries.

“We will not sit back while this highly-profitable, global company replace our members with cheap labour at the stroke of a pen. As well as causing anger and resentment within the Subsea 7 workforce these actions are setting alarm bells ringing right across the offshore industry.

“We will have no hesitation in mobilising a global trade union campaign exposing the activities of Subsea 7 and would urge the company to make immediate arrangements to meet with RMT representatives to discuss their intentions and the impact on their UK workforce.”


Lads,

I think we're sort of drifting of the topic a little. Reading the last few posts, it would seem that we're heading for another Anglo-Boer War.....

The way I see it, the ball is pretty much in the court of the UK offshore worker. YOU are being shafted by YOUR OWN countrymen to work on YOUR OWN DOORSTEP. The question that must be answered now is WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? What is your Goverment going to do about it? You need to seriously speak to your unions and if need be engage in action necessary to attract the attention of your goverment as to how the corporate world is blatantly discriminating against you and exploiting third world workers. All for the sake of making profit!

I am a SS day rater. "Foreign cheap labour" at that...But I know I am worth much more than the pittance I get from SS! Believe me, as and when this industry picks up again, I'm off in mercanary-mode: You got good money, I deliver. Shit money, find someone else... Very Happy
Yes please, two sugars and a spot of milk. Ta...
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ROVRatt wrote:


And you thought apartheid was dead?


It's about as fatuous as the above on an ROV site.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro! (I came, I saw, I stuck around!)
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As a small reminder...

RMT slams SS7 on pay/conditions through hiring cheap labour.... Is the topic title.

I can't watch the forum 24/7 but have picked up on this one as losing the plot.
... and as the last poster indicated, not exactly ROV related stuff being posted is it?

I am struggling to even see a very tenuous connection between... The RMT, what SS7 have been doing in the North Sea and why certain people in South Africa are on low pay or struggling to get work but, to be fair (for once) to SS7, I'm not overly sure this is their doing. I stand to be corrected mind.

So, how about we run with the topic title and leave the African politics out of it.
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

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