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General: North Sea Divers' Pay Row Reaches Impasse

Posted on 22.09.2006 - 01:50 EDT in GENERAL NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

North Sea Divers' Pay Row Reaches ImpasseA Pay row between North Sea divers and their employers has reached a standoff, a union official said yesterday.

Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) regional organiser Stan Herschel was speaking after talks in Aberdeen yesterday failed to achieve a compromise.

The divers had threatened to go on strike from November 1 following their recent ballot on industrial action.

Employers subsequently offered a new three-year deal based on an increase of 7% for the first year, 4% for year two and 4% for year three.

But that was flatly rejected and union officials had hoped for a better offer yesterday.

Mr Herschel said none was forthcoming. He added: "The November deadline still remains, but I am hopeful they (the employers) will still come back with an improved offer."

Colin Gibson, of Aberdeenshire-based Subsea 7, who chairs the joint employers' and RMT committee that discusses pay and conditions, could not be contacted for comment.

It has been claimed that a strike involving up to 800 divers could severely disrupt North Sea oil and gas production.

According to the RMT, divers' pay has risen by 20% less than average earnings over the past 20 years and it is claiming a 50% increase to recover lost ground.

September 22, 2006


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