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Official RMT News release : 07-10-2009

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RMT slams major North Sea engineering and construction company Subsea 7 over “race to the bottom” on jobs and pay

OFFSHORE ENERGY union RMT today slammed the major subsea engineering and construction company Subsea 7 for engaging in a “race to the bottom” on pay and conditions through the hiring of cheap, overseas labour which has put jobs and conditions in the North Sea field under threat.

Subsea 7 delivered global pre tax profits of $425 million in 2008 with the bulk of the money - $235 million – being delivered from their North Sea operations.
Now the company are re-paying the hard work of their North Sea staff by threatening to dump them out of their jobs and hiring in cheap labour from overseas.

RMT have pledged an all-out fight to save jobs and to protect pay and conditions in the North Sea field and have warned Subsea 7 that they will mobilise a global trade union fightabck against the company. RMT are demanding immediate talks with Subsea 7 on the attack on jobs, pay and conditions.

In a letter to Subsea 7 management, RMT members say clearly: “If you think that we will idly sit back and allow you to remove our livelihoods without a fight you are very much mistaken.”

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.”
ENDS

Source of original article:
RMT slams major North Sea engineering and construction company Subsea 7 over “race to the bottom” on jobs and pay


Admin edit: 09-10-2009
This article was also published by 'The Press and Journal' (06-10-2009)
It is available for download as a .pdf file (581kb) further down this thread.


Last edited by jamesmc on 19:28 Fri 09 Oct 09; edited 1 time in total
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James,

Ya' know I've only got aboot 2 yrs. and a bit before I get out of this soon-to-be-in-a-sorry-state of an industry.

I sometimes wonder why I should care about the younger pups when they don't or hardly give a damn about their own future.... Should I consider taking on the ever-present "I'm awright Jack" attitude of the majority of people in this industry and say farq ya' all? OR.... get really involved and start a new (key word plonkers....) movement / group / ....... fill in the blank ...... ???? perhaps a no-brainer....
I got your economic downturn right here!!!
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scotbeve wrote:


I sometimes wonder why I should care about the younger pups when they don't or hardly give a damn about their own future....


I'll bet the companies just love them all the way to the bank Smile
James Mc
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225 wrote:
The integration of cheaper labour at Subsea 7 has been happening for the last 8 months and the policy is well known in the industry. Its good news that the RMT is now threatening to mobilize a trade union campaign to expose this activity.

After this policy has been exposed... it will be interesting to see what plans the RMT have next


RCV-225,

You forgot to mention what the "older" SS7 hands (if any still there) will threaten to do once they wake up and smell the coffee.... Or are they on a higher plain and not affected at all? Awright Jack!!!!!!!
I got your economic downturn right here!!!
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The complacency about not joining the union seems to be more with the younger guys in SS7 who probably are more at risk as it will take a few years for the cheap labour to filter thru and get advanced to Sub Eng and above.
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As an older hand I don't fear for my job in the short term. Long term is a different matter.
SS7 say they have no plans to replace supv and above with these guys.
Do you believe them ?
Trust has gone out the window.
What else will SS7 think of to save money ?
If you'd told me last year we'd be having this debate I'd have laughed at you. I can't believe what the company has turned into and certainly isn't the same company I joined all those years ago.

Think of it this way. Protesting for P/T's isn't about saving P/T's. It's about protecting your future in the long term.
Withdrawing labour is an absolute last resort. If it came to that tough decisions will have to be made. It wouldn't benefit us or the company but I'd like to think common sense will prevail and we won't be going down that road.

Your post worries me.
Do you work in Westhill by any chance ?
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quaich wrote:

SS7 say they have no plans to replace supv and above with these guys.
Do you believe them ?


No - Not at all. Why should anyone belive that?
Based on recent events - Even some SS7 'die hard loyal troops' must be starting to suspect this is the way it's going in the longer term.


quaich wrote:

Trust has gone out the window.


Definitely - Many will be/are shell shocked at this total disregard to, so called, valued employees.


quaich wrote:

What else will SS7 think of to save money ?

Replace supervisors and above with these people once they are trained up. Not right now but watch that space.



Do people believe what they are being told by SS7 company management?
If I were an SS7 employee no amount of management re-assurance to the contrary would dissuade me from this concept of them replacing UK personnel with cheaper foreign imports. Look what they have done already! Some months back SS7 management were asked directly, by an appointed representative of the RMT, if they had any intention of replacing UK labour with cheap foreign labour. I was advised that SS7 categorically replied that they were not.

Yeah... right!
James Mc
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Each and every one of them get exactly what they deserve.... Be it management or the guys offshore.... farqem'
I got your economic downturn right here!!!
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And that means you C.G. - plonker extraordinaire!!! Yes, please black ball me - again.
I got your economic downturn right here!!!
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225 wrote:
The older hands at SS7 as you put it, don't fear their jobs or shouldn't do anyway.


That's a very short sighted statement, but I guess that falls in line with SS7 management policy, so comes as no surprise.

Of course they should fear for their jobs. Why on earth shouldn't they?
They may be older hands but they may also wish to keep working for many more years to come.

At this moment in time if I were working in any position at SS7 I wouldn't be looking to strike.
Instead, I'd be looking to withdraw my labour by leaving the company and taking my experience elsewhere. I would certainly not pay any attention to 225 suggesting to SS7 staffers to expect a lean winter/lean 2010.
That's just a delaying tactic to keep you around long enough for their needs.
Oil has been on the rise all year. That alone will bring work in the next 12-24 months. Plus there are always plenty of company start-ups out there that would be more than happy to take on experienced people and pay them well for it.

I'd be too embarrassed to be associated with such an outfit.
Hopefully people are leaving in droves, but I suspect that may not be the case though.

Look for a more user friendly company to work with, rather than put up with management policies that have no long term view on anything and only one short term view.... and that's purely profit driven.
Subsea7 deserve to lose all the experience they have, and about as fast as they dropped all those reliable people in it themselves.

Supervisors need not worry?
The current policy (and it has been stated as such already) of replacing trainees with cheap foreign labour is short sighted to say the least.

Where are all these supervisor type people going to come from in future if there are no longer UK based trainees gaining experience to become P/T's and then supervisors?

What happens when the existing supervisors leave the system.. who will they be replaced by? It doesn't take an idiot to work that one out. But for those that struggle with the concept.... They will be replaced by non other than experienced PT's who in turn will be replaced by experienced trainees who come from where??

Therefore, it stands to reason that any management statement suggesting that Supervisors need not worry about their jobs, is nothing other than a smoke screen put up to enable the company to get these cheaper people experienced enough to do the replacing, but on about 20% of the salary.
They will say anything right now to keep the supervisory experience in place for the moment until such times as it's deemed as no longer needed.

The rate people are promoted these days makes than an event likely to happen sooner, rather than later.


225 wrote:
The devil is in the detail. I dont believe SS7 have replaced any staff with cheaper foreign labour. As for casual labour and agency hands. Quite a few of those positions have been filled with cheaper workers and will continue to do so.


So, previously SS7 ROV trainees were not staff then? Or, is it based on the ever so clever 'The devil is in the detail.' expression ... Promote the existing UK sourced trainees up to P/T and employ new cheaper trainees from overseas. Ergo, SS7 management can sleep easily at night, knowing that they didn't put anyone from the UK out of a job, just didn't employ any to train up in the first place.

I would guess that the new Filipino trainees are not SS7 staff either. They would most likely be employed through a Filipino agency, as is the norm in such cases.

Therefore, I would suggest that SS7 staff have most likely been replaced by agency people.... it just depends how you package it. No matter how it is packaged, we can all see what the intended path is.... do over your own countrymen in favour of making more profit for shareholders.


One thing for sure is that the company management would not be so keen on cutting costs if it was them being replaced!


Last edited by jamesmc on 23:35 Thu 08 Oct 09; edited 2 times in total
James Mc
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225 I suspect we've both seen a lot of changes with SS7 but the latest is astounding. Tell me do you honestly agree with the policy of recruiting cheap foreign trainees to be used instead of trainees on UK rates ?
I know we struggle to get good trainees from our shores but this is tantamount to slave labour.

Why should staff not be concerned about their long term future with SS7 ?
Sell the idea to me because I'll be straight with you I'm struggling to understand why you think there is no threat to all of us.

Do you have any idea how much an adverse effect on morale this sorry state of affairs is having ?
Does the company care about morale ?


225 wrote:
The integration of cheaper labour at Subsea 7 has been happening for the last 8 months and the policy is well known in the industry. Its good news that the RMT is now threatening to mobilize a trade union campaign to expose this activity.

After this policy has been exposed... it will be interesting to see what plans the RMT have next


If you are who I think you might be why is it good news to SS7 management ?
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225 wrote:
I dont know if SS7 trainee P/T's are staff. By staff I mean they have a contact of employment and a salary plus benefits. I presume they are day rate, with the possibilty of a staff position at a later date.



They are on the following contracted 90 day employment package:

Salary of US$1065 with the option to earn overtime up to take it to a maximum of US$2159

They are doing 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off.

Further information I will not divulge, but that is enough to give people the idea. Oh... they are not day rates of course!

Now, does that mean they will do a 90 day trip away from home? If not, what will they be doing in-between offshore trips? Sitting in a hotel.. or, as loyal salary staff, working at the base on work permits?
James Mc
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225 wrote:
Not sure what breakdown brings to the table?


It brings to the table the low rates that SS7 are paying imported cheap ROV labour in the UK offshore sector that's what.

No matter what is said these imports are preventing UK ROV trainees and later P/T's from gaining work offshore. SS7 can package it how they like but that is the end result of their actions.

225 wrote:
The new Filippino ROV lads, who have a contact have replaced non-contracted UK day rate personnel...its that a fair summary?


I would suggest that, on the subject of employing cheap labour, nothing coming out of Subsea 7 at the moment can be taken at face value, so I wouldn't know whether yours is a fair summary or not.
James Mc
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I repeat....

jamesmc wrote:


I would suggest that, on the subject of employing cheap labour, nothing coming out of Subsea 7 at the moment can be taken at face value......
James Mc
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225 wrote:
It seems fairly clear. Most folk have no issue with cheap labour, when its used on boats down in Brazil, Mid-East or Asia. As soon as those lads step foot in the North Sea its outragous, slave labour. What a difference a flight makes.

The UK sector for the Brits only is what I say, Brazil for the Brazilians, Angola for Angolans, Thailand for the Thai's..... that should work a treat.



225,

And then get ready for demobbing systems with empty TMS's - so you're willing to stay in the North Sea instead of say..... Africa? Oooops... sorry, the SS7 uplift for the Dark Continent is gone as well.
I got your economic downturn right here!!!

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