Labour Research April 2021

Union news

Unite pushes for recognition

The Unite general union is to attempt to force offshore contractor Altrad to recognise the union to represent its 200 offshore workers after the company rejected a voluntary recognition deal.

Unite Scotland will go down the statutory recognition route after what the union said had been “a month of fruitless discussions” with the company.

As well as refusing recognition, Altrad has declined to be a signatory to the new Energy Services Agreement (ESA) which is designed to ensure offshore workers’ terms and conditions are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Fourteen companies have so far signed up to the ESA: Aker Solutions, Altera, Brand, Kaefer, Muehlhan, Navitas, ODE, Oleochem, Petrofac, Ponticelli, Semco Maritime, Stork, Wood and Worley.

However, Altrad’s refusal follows that of Bilfinger Salamis, who is also opposing voluntary recognition and refusing to sign the ESA.

Vic Fraser, Unite industrial officer, said: “Altrad has made it clear that they are unwilling to join the Energy Services Agreement and they are also not prepared to consider a voluntary collective bargaining agreement on any aspect of their offshore workers’ terms and conditions other than pay.

“Given this inflexible position, Unite will now be consulting with our members on a statutory recognition process with Altrad”, said the union.

“It is disappointing that Altrad have opted to resist us in our efforts to protect the existing terms and conditions of the workforce or to establishing any improvements in their daily working lives.”