More than 900 RMT diving personnel in the North Sea oil and gas industry will begin an indefinite strike at a minute after midnight tonight after overwhelmingly rejecting the employers' latest pay offer.
The employers' offer was rejected by 516 votes (68 per cent) to 240 (32 per cent), on a 79 per cent turnout, in a poll that closed at midday today. It follows the near-unanimous rejection of an earlier offer. "This result shows just how angry RMT diving personnel have become after 20 years of pay erosion," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.
"North Sea divers do a particularly difficult job in a particularly hazardous industry, yet over two decades their earnings have slipped by 20 per cent in the average pay tables, while the oil and gas companies have been raking in super-profits.
"Our members have now made it quite clear that the offer on the table falls short of their aspirations and they will therefore be on strike from a minute after midnight tonight.
"We remain ready to talk, and we would hope that the employers will now return to the table with an offer that meets those aspirations," Bob Crow said.
October 31, 2006