North Sea divers show ‘unbreakable resolve’ to win pay justice
RMT: November 3 2006
Acas talks on Monday, but strike continues, says RMT
STRIKING DIVERS crowded into Aberdeen Trades Council club to demonstrate their "unbreakable resolve" to win pay justice, maritime union RMT said today.
Talks aimed at settling the dispute are scheduled to take place through conciliation servcice Acas on Monday, but the indefinite strike which began on November 1 will continue, and there remain no diving supoprt vessels operational in the North Sea.
The union also said that an emergency committee of divers had been set up to ensure that in the event of a genuine emergency involving a threat to safety an appropriate response could be mobilised immediately.
"Our members came to Aberdeen today and demonstrated that they are utterly united and share an unbreakable resolve to win justice in their pay dispute," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said after today's mass meeting.
"The divers have made it clear thar they are 101 per cent together and that there will be no diving in the North Sea until the dispute is resolved, and we made it clear to them that they can continue to count on 101 per cent support from their union.
"There will be talks at Acas on Monday, and that is clearly a step forward, but there was no doubt from the meeting that the indefinite strike will continue.
"Solidarity messages have continued to pour in from unions around the world, offering moral and practical support, but also pledging to see to it that there would be no personnel diving in UK waters until this dispute is resolved," Bob Crow said.
Striking divers meet with union
BBC News: 3 November 2006
Divers work at depths of up to several hundred feet
North Sea divers on strike after rejecting a pay offer from employers have met with union officials.
Around 250 divers attended a mass meeting in Aberdeen.
Members of the RMT union voted against a new three-year deal offering a 20% increase immediately, plus more from April next year.
There has been concern that any strike action could bring chaos to parts of the UK oil and gas sector. The meeting was held on Friday afternoon.
The RMT said divers were carrying out probably the most dangerous job in the North Sea, working on wells and pipelines at depths of several hundred feet.
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said the divers were resolute in continuing the strike.
He added: "They are 100% behind the strike - they are standing shoulder to shoulder.
"The employers have been making massive profits over the last few years and our members have helped to contribute to that - it is time to put the matter right.
"The mood is one of determination. We are willing to talk, but any offer that is made will go back to our members before a decision is made."
The union said the walkout would continue for as long as it took for employers to come back with a better deal.
However, the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) said it was disappointed that the divers had rejected the latest pay offer despite their union's recommendation to accept it.