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To Rayshields,


Thanks for the reply. I'm more than happy to discuss this with you. It's not a side issue in the history, or the future, of trade uni0nism on the North Sea. And I'm prepared to do it on an open bulletin board - just not this one right at this moment.

But if you would like to mail me your analysis of what your understanding of unity in the trade uni0n movement, and expand on why you think my remarks are wrong, I promise to get back to you and you'll be at liberty to post my reply to you wherever you want, including here.

Let me know what you understand to be the history and present practice of AEU, AUEW, Amicus and UNITE and I'll let you know what I think. You can contact me at

At the moment there has been a serious approach to OILC/RMT by a not insignificant secton of ROV operatives, and I'm trying to establish whether there is a serious intention amongst your colleagues to organise and attempt to secure a collectively bargained agreement. Unfortunately the type of agreements that have been secured by UNITE(Amicus) don't fall into this categotry and it is to distinguish the kind of agreement OILC/RMT are campaigning for, and the kind of agreement that has been foisted on many offshore workers (whether they belong to a uni0n or not I might add), that I rasie the issue of "sweetheart" trade uni0nism. In my opinion sweetheart uni0nism has nothing to do with trade uni0n solidarity (or unity) It's the opposite.

I appreciate the fact that you took time to reply, and I will answer any mail you send to me, as I find the time.

OILC Branch Secretary
To all and sundry,

Great pay, great conditions etc, I'm all right Jack?

No? Well that's what it sounds like.

We wouldn't have the pay and conditions currently enjoyed by many in many areas of industry, including this one, were it not for people sticking together and negotiating better terms and conditions.

Certain people seem to forget that if it were not for others they would not have what we have now.

Don't kid yourselves that you are irreplaceable and that any private deals that may be in place cannot be renaged.

If better terms and conditions were achieved, would the disbelievers refuse them? I think not.

The opportunity has arisen to come together in a civilised manner and hopefully build the future of this industry. We have a guy here who sincerely seems to care and yet seems to be under scrutiny?

Unfortunately there has been a great deal of "sweetheart" dealing in the past by many uni0ns. Some of whom are now under the guise of another name. We all know the past of OILC and the origins of it's being. For a uni0n to have the welfare of it's members at heart is quite refreshing.

For FCUK's sake let's get organised and strive forwards, if nothing else to keep in place what has already been attained by others.
Shy bairns get nowt
Hey there Asian Stallion!

We are all wondering any jobs going at your "GREAT" Company?

Like you im sure there's a few others out there that would like to line their pockets & snuggle up to the managment 2 4 a deal like yours?????

What kind of car, salary and benefits are you getting then we wonder? Sounds like you may well have lick'd your way into one of those STAFF jobs you seem to know so much about with a 6 figure sum??? Seem's like your philosophy is "me first chief im a cripple? Hmmmm?

There's a few others that would rather try to unite together as one in an effort to negotiate a better deal for "ALL" including you and your great mates! I wonder if it ever happens will you all refuse to accept any gains that may be made off the back's of other's efforts feeling the way you do about uni0ns and it's members????

Await your reply with baited breath!

Make mine a very large FWAFF!
Now maybe some people can see why another 'RMT-OILC' board was formed to enable uni0n members to discuss uni0n matters without having to debate, at every turn, the in's and out's of whether Uni0ns have a place in the ROV industry or not.

I can see this thread continuing the debate along those lines for some time to come.
James Mc
Site Admin

Shocked Search First - Ask questions later Thumb Up
Re : uni0n
What effect did the uni0nization of divers in North Sea, ROV in Norway and Oz have on the industry? Did oil companies run away screaming with the added cost of doing business? No. They were quite happy to have a fixed expense in the budget that heretofore was a question mark as companies competed on an unfair poker table, ROV bodies as chips.

Our nemesis in the day rate negotiation process is not the client. It is the new Project Manager in the orifice, recently hired because of his vast experience as a two year ROV "Supervisor" on a cable laying vessel that was in port 90% of his term of duty. He gets clever with after-the-fact memos to the boys on day rates, travel days, per diem, hours required to be in transit to qualify for transit hotel, etc. Any item which may be trimmed to show a dollar extra on his project quarterly budget and thus a feather in HIS bonus scheme is a brilliant idea. Your agency "best friend" can be nominated as well. The contractor who whores for 20 quid less/ per day (You know who you are--my resume is right alongside yours because, by gosh, I'll admit I've been hungry enough and anxious enough for the next bank deposit to go along with "this is what they are offering"), even though you have that niggling feeling that the good ol agency folks smelled the fear in your response and are now padding THEIR daily cut with most of the 20 quid.

I'll toss my hat in the uni0n roll if it will help minimize the effects of these Creative Thinkers.
Touche Turtle!!!!

Well said!

Make mine a large "FWAFF"!

I recently had a phone conversation With Derek Moore, the guy who leads
the RMT divers.

According to Derek, the divers began to organise way back. They
struck in 1984 as part of the National Uni0n of Seamen – before NUS
became merged with the NUR to form RMT. They got an agreement, but
there was little participation from the guys offshore and the
agreement virtually went into abeyance. Derek says that when the membership began to try and breathe some life into that agreement - that it was 99% about communication.

His second point is that it is only ROVers that can organise ROV, as it was only divers that could organise diving. He immediately poured cold water on the idea that somehow ROVers can be tagged onto the ODIA. As he remarked, he doesn't know anything about ROV. Only ROVers can decide what they want. And only ROVers know (or can get to know) their sector of the industry well enough to effectively organise it.

As I suspected it's not rocket science. But of course with the years of experience Derek has amassed, he's operating at a far more
sophisticated level than we would be starting off trying to organise
amongst ROVers. So, here is what I understand to be the issues.

Recruitment into the uni0n;

There's virtually nothing you can achieve or retain without solidarity, and by that I mean very substantial uni0n membership throughout the sector. ROVers will need to do the recruiting.
Members need to recruit their colleagues. There's no way round this
if you're going to be effective. On top of this a system of company
reps and onboard reps needs to be developed. So guys will need to
step forward and act as conduits for gathering and passing on
information. You don't have to go shouting your mouth off all over
your unit to do this.

An agreement;

The only basis upon which this recruitment can proceed is with the recognitian by the workforce of the need for an agreement to improve wages and conditions and to protect the membership.
Towards this end uni0n ROVers need to begin to draft the agreement
they want, and use this draft to drive ahead recruitment and get the
workforce involvement. (involve members and prospective members by
inviting them to add their tuppenceworth) The ODIA should provide inspiration.

Communication; (Derek stressed that this was the most important issue).

We need to set up the lines of communication necessary to allow an agreement to be drafted and recruitment to proceed. The membership needs to have means of submitting what they want to see in an agreement. A group of guys need to set themselves up and take
responsibility for getting a draft out to the membership and then
incorporate input from the troops.

The companies;

How many ROV companies are out there guys?
Who are the big players, the ones we need to concentrate on?
What about agencies?
The divers negotiate with only seven companies; Well Ops (UK) Ltd, Integrated Subsea Services, RBG Limited, Meridian Shipping Services Pte Ltd, Acergy, Subsea 7 and K D Marine Ltd. I know there's one other major player which isn't part of the agreement but toes the line on day-rate because otherwise they can't get divers to work for them. We need to identify the ROV big boys - the companies who between them have the lions share of the work. Again, only ROVers can do this.

What is required is in effect the exact opposite of "THE UNI0N", (some
disembodied power, or it's disciple - some paid bureaucrat), holding a tablet of stone for the ROVers to worship and obey once they've joined the true faith (RMT).

So if you want to organise your sector you're in luck. The OILC
branch of RMT is keen to give you all the support we can. As a
starter we can give you a copy of the ODIA as a template. This can be be added to, subtracted from, and otherwise re-jigged. (It's actually been public for some time). Can you use this as a basis for drafting the "ROVA"?

The administrators of rovworld have already generously set up an "RMT
members only" forum on the site. If you want to participate on it, get back to me with your RMT membership no and personal details and when we identify you we'll ask the administrators to OK you.

As the administrator has already pointed out, this is not an attempt to make the "members only" forum exclusive, or to create two tiers of ROVers - it's to let the uni0n members speak to each other, and develop strategy, free from comment by the undecided or the openly hostile. I'm hoping RMT members will continue to discuss with at least one of these categories on this open forum.

The OILC Branch of RMT has begun to develop a mailing list of ROVers.
Again email me and I'll include you on that. Maybe our next step should be to develop an open mailing list where ROV activists who are RMT
members can share email addresses and communicate freely with each other.

It's not enough to post on this website and hope that some sort of organisation, and "agreement" will emerge.

I look forward to seeing some lively exchanges.

OILC Branch Secretary

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