STRIKING NORTH Sea divers and support workers have reacted angrily to bullying and intimimidation tactics from employers seeking to undermine RMT’s solid strike action.
As the strike by more than 900 diving personnel entered its second day, reports were coming in of intimidating 'phone calls being made to strikers' homes and attempts to bully people into signing individual contracts.
"These are classic tactics from employers who should be spending their time trying to find a negotiated settlement to this dispute," said RMT general secretary Bob Crow, who will attend a mass meeting of striking divers in Aberdeen tomorrow.
"Far from undermining out strike these tactics are hardening the resolve of workers who have already shown their anger at two decades of pay erosion by overwhelmingly rejecting the employers' latest pay offer.
"Apparently the employers have told the media that they are willing to talk, but they haven't managed to tell us that yet.
"We have made it clear we are ready to resume negotiations at any time, but there remain no diving support vessels operational in the North Sea and that is the way it will stay until this dispute is resolved," Bob Crow said.
"Messages of support have been flooding into the strike office from diving maritime uni0ns around the world," said regional organiser Stan Herschel in Aberdeen.
"Our Norwegian colleagues in IE have already offered practical support and will be at our mass meeting on Friday, and we have had messages from as far afield as the Indonesian Seafarers' Uni0n, the Argentianian divers' uni0n and from the Martimie Uni0n of Australia.
"A statement from the employers saying how well-paid the divers are has been doing the rounds up here, and even though they are on strike the divers have offered to have a whip-round to buy a new battery for the bosses' calculator," Stan Herschel said.