28 August 2013 – The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) rallied today in Scotland in support of improved safety in the offshore oil and gas industry following a helicopter crash that claimed four lives. Members of the ITF-affiliated union were joined by the families of victims of offshore safety failures and representatives of Norway’s Industri Energi union, another ITF affiliate. The RMT scored a swift victory after gaining assurances from offshore employers that unions will have guaranteed access to workers on oil and gas platforms and at heliports.
The RMT acted after a Super Puma helicopter ditched in the sea en route from the Borgsten Dolphin rig to the Shetland Islands on Friday.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow commented: “Following talks with the employers we have secured a massive breakthrough on our core demand of workplace access which will enable us to build an organisation that can fight for real collective improvements to offshore working conditions including on the central issue of safety.”
ITF offshore task force chair Norrie McVicar applauded the breakthrough and warned that thousands of jobs were at risk if stakeholders failed to reach a way forward on safer working.