Energy Voice | Union hits out at Bilfinger’s ‘imposed’ wage rise on workers

Workers trade union Unite has hit out at oilfield service firm Bilfinger Salamis claiming the firm intend to impose a 2.15% pay rise to workers for 2018/19.

Unite bosses said they were angry the wage rise had been forced through “without any prior notice” and that the percentage doesn’t meet the industry average agreed by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

An imposed wage increase of 2.15% is lower than the OCA’s suggested 3.3% and is “all but agreed” said Unite.

It is understood any pay increase will affect 1,300 staff members.

In a release by Unite, the union said Bilfinger Salamis assured  employees that it would “keep pace” with OCA rises but that “this did not happen last year and it is not happening this year”.

A spokesperson for Bilfinger Salamis, said: “We are currently in negotiations with our employees and clients on an agreement to increase the basic rate of pay for this financial year. This follows a pay increase of 2.25% last year for all our employees, despite the commercial challenges in the North Sea market.

“We maintain an open dialogue with our workforce through an elected employee council which was set up after we left the OCA, and are in regular communication with them on this year’s pay deal. Union delegates also have seats on this council.

“Our continued focus is on the ongoing success of our operations in the North Sea, safeguarding the long-term employment of our skilled and experienced workforce.”

Unite regional organiser Tommy Campbell said: “We have submitted a pay and conditions claim to Bilfinger and it is our intention to meet with them in the coming weeks. Hopefully we can negotiate a pay and conditions claim that is acceptable to our union members.”

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