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There is a lot of content relevant to ROV in this issue. It is notably encouraging to see plenty of feedback from ROV members working with Subsea7 and Technip. It appears that those two organisations now have a heavy saturation of ROV OILC-RMT members. I wonder how it's going in the other companies on that score?

As you can clearly see there is movement on the ROV front. ROV people are pitching in (along with other Subsea related members) and getting down to organising the Subsea sector. Diver are aware of this and are being asked to provide a show of support.

Question
Are you one of those OILC-RMT members supporting the initiative or, before you take the plunge and join, are you waiting to see what happens and how many members have already joined the OILC branch of the RMT?

Do you have a valid reason for not joining the OILC-RMT, other than the fact that you possibly may not really want to be subject to a three year agreement on pay and conditions?

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Last edited by jamesmc on 20:03 Sat 07 Nov 09; edited 1 time in total
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The reason I let my membership lapse was that I was sent out to West Africa to work, and got the impression that the RMT only covered the North Sea.

Just read enough is enough and found this...

"The focus will initially be on those members
employed in the diving and ROV fleet on the UK North Sea.
And then we’re going to campaign for our colleagues in
Norway and Australia to show their support for the Subsea7
guys."

No talk of a global effort... otherwise i'd join in.
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Assuming you are British.

Ah! that's OK then. Don't worry about what's happening in the UK if you are not working there at the moment, or you are 'guessing' that there will not be much work in the UK in future.

But what happens over the coming years (near future) when these other countries tighten up even further (Nationality wise) on who they allow to work offshore in their neck of the woods?
Just looking around you can see that happening already, so it's only a matter of time before these countries start slamming their doors shut on foreign labour in favour of their own people. USA? Oz? NZ? They are all at it. Yet in the UK some of our own citizens (even some of our own ROV forum members) see no need be concerned about North Sea ROV jobs.

Finally you would be left with the EU as the only area you will be easily be allowed to work. But by then, if the likes of SS7 get their way, the home ROV industry will already be flooded with foreign ROV tech on cheap day rates. You wouldn't get a look in!!
I am a Brit and don't live in the UK, however that doesn't stop me from personally finding SS7's approach unacceptable.
I suppose I should be surprised that others don't appear to care about the UK ROV sector in the longer term but, judging by what I read around here, maybe I shouldn't be surprised at all. I am most likely too patriotic by actually giving a thought about our own ROV industry in our own country.

Or.... Think of it from another angle. Over the next couple of years if these foreign ROV workers (being introduced into the North Sea by SS7 right now) are trained up in the UK, with North Sea jobs under their belt, how long do you think your job would last in Africa or Asia when the likes of SS7 have a pool of cheap ROV techs to employ instead of you?
Don't think it would only be SS7 either. Once the other companies see them get away with it they will all be doing the same thing to stay competitive! Sooner than you think you would be kissing your current day rate goodbye for sure no matter where you worked in the world... except for certain locations. i.e. Oz (union agreement in place), Norway, (union agreement in place), Canada, (union agreement in place).


Where did get get all these cheap ROV techs with current offshore experience? Right under our noses in our own country!
Certainly didn't happen in Oz or Norway did it?
Why is that then? - Because they already have a union agreement in place that sets out clearly ROV pay and conditions!

Of course whilst these Filipinos were being trained they were denying UK based trainees the chance to get into the industry and at the same time helping to depress the going rate for PT's globally.
As a UK based experienced Pilot tech or Supervisor where was it in the world that you first started offshore? Did you fly from say the UK to Singapore and go offshore there, or did you get your start in the North Sea as a trainee?
If you started in the North Sea then you can imagine that very soon that route of entry into the game will be closed. Try calling SS7 now and asking them for a job as a trainee and see how far you get!
Eventually all the UK companies will jump on the cheap Filipino ROV trainee bandwagon and hey presto! The supply of UK based ROV tech will dry up!

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Unions are National, can anyone inform me of a succsessuful Global workers Union??? PLEASE Try, maybe we could follow the example, but sadly im guessing no one will find anything of the sort!!


There is talk of global support from other unions for the SS7 and other UK ROV people having their jobs threatened by foreign workers. There is no talk of a global union, so I see no reason to try and convince anyone that a global union will exist or even work. Not that I would as I too suspect that it would never get off the ground.

I'm going to mention the divers agreement (ODIA) again. The UK North sea divers rates are seen around the world as rates to aspire to. I know that because I was a diver for 10 years and as well as working the North Sea I worked globally including SEA. On one job all the sat divers were on UK rates....
Where: South East Asia.
Vessel: Rockwater 1

Therefore it stands to reason that if UK ROV had similar rates and conditions those rates would be seen as a global benchmark.
So a National Union and a National Offshore agreement might influence rates far beyond it's national boundaries. I suspect that North Sea rates set under an agreement has a greater chance of raising rather than depressing overseas rates.

So the questions remain.....

Why wouldn't you join the OILC branch of the RMT, help get an North Sea ROV agreement in place and join with the divers by way of collective bargaining?

Choose an answer that might fit:

  • Cost - I just can't afford it!
  • It won't help me because I don't currently work in the UK sector and I probably never will.
  • A UK sector ROV agreement won't be of any use to me as I prefer to deal direct with the companies and set my own rate.
  • I work overseas and a North sea ROV agreement would have no affect on my day rate.


Last edited by jamesmc on 08:33 Mon 09 Nov 09; edited 1 time in total
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jamesmc wrote:
Assuming you are British.


There is talk of global support from other unions for the SS7 and other UK ROV people having their jobs threatened by foreign workers. There is no talk of a global union, so I see no reason to try and convince anyone that a global union will exist or even work. Not that I would as I too suspect that it would never get off the ground.

I'm going to mention the divers agreement (ODIA) again. The UK North sea divers rates are seen around the world as rates to aspire to. I know that because I was a diver for 10 years and as well as working the North Sea I worked globally including SEA. On one job all the sat divers were on UK rates....
Where: South East Asia.
Vessel: Rockwater 1

Therefore it stands to reason that if UK ROV had similar rates and conditions those rates would be seen as a global benchmark.
So a National Union and a National Offshore agreement might influence rates far beyond it's national boundaries. I suspect that North Sea rates set under an agreement has a greater chance of raising rather than depressing overseas rates.

So the questions remain.....

Why wouldn't you join the OILC branch of the RMT, help get an North Sea ROV agreement in place and join with the divers by way of collective bargaining?

Choose an answer that might fit:

  • Cost - I just can't afford it!
  • It won't help me because I don't currently work in the UK sector and I probably never will.
  • A UK sector ROV agreement won't be of any use to me as I prefer to deal direct with the companies and set my own rate.
  • I work overseas and a North sea ROV agreement would have no affect on my day rate.


Global SUPPORT can work for the SS7 issue. And I sincerely hope it does. A global union is a dream of mine that would create a large bargaining chip on the table. Alas, there's too many people (the majority) who are in this industry for self-serving reasons - mostly the cash....

I can see a flood of inexperienced - low paid ROV laborers coming in the industry over the next few years and loads of retrenchments until such a time where the ROV operators will look at the books and see the efficiency levels of their cheap labor as compared to their false profits. But in the meantime you new / younger / inexperienced guys & gals will find it very difficult to get the proverbial foot in the door. It's your choice....

Oh, and James, there have been more diving jobs in SEA that were on N. Sea rates...
I got your economic downturn right here!!!
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Lets face it though membership is probably going to be like a snowball rolling down a hill. I has obviously started to pick up people and will probably get a lot bigger as it goes.

I personally would not join unless it became as mandatory as a medical or survival that is my choice and I will stand by that for many of the reasons I have stated in the past.

I have had the onshift discussions about uni0ns whilst working for a couple of companies and I think you may be suprised as to how many guys are just not interested in this subject.

There are also thoughs who do not frequent this site who may be interested but are not getting the message about the onion movement.

It would also be interesting to get an employers/agencies perspective on how they think this could all end up affecting them as anything the union does has a knock on effect.
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TheBhoy wrote:
.............its taken the union three years to even find out what we do, where we do it and who we do it for, so im sorry if this latest push does not fill me with confidence.


Peace.


You should see how long it took the NUS to understand what divers do... and (now as part of the RMT) they still struggle Wink
Still the divers agreement holds firm and is now long running. No divers being replaced by Filipino trainees there eh?

Three UK welders were, last week, told by SS7 that they are no longer required. They are being be replaced by Filipinos.
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

Shocked Search First - Ask questions later Thumb Up
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the thin end of the wedge there
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mind-when-this-was-fields wrote:
the thin end of the wedge there


Factor in Filipino ROV trainees, Filipino riggers and the wedge is getting thicker as the weeks pass.

Oh! and less we forget...this the UK North Sea we are talking about.
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

Shocked Search First - Ask questions later Thumb Up

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