Tuesday, 7 November 2006

S2M-5078 Colin Fox (Lothians) (SSP) : North Sea divers' strike

That the Parliament notes the decision of 500 deep sea divers in the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) to reject by more than two-to-one the latest United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association pay offer; recognises the extremely dangerous conditions in which these men work, deep in the icy waters of the North Sea, putting their lives at risk to repair oil wells and pipelines in an industry vital to Scotland’s economy; believes that it is right that their wages should reflect the great danger of the job; recognises the fact that they must pay out £20,000 for their extensive training; further notes that they can spend half their working week in decompression chambers after working at depths of 600 feet, that they face compulsory retirement at 50 and cannot get life insurance, medical or sickness cover for the extremely hazardous job they do; believes that the £46,000 maximum salary is therefore not excessive, being much less than the salary earned by an MSP, for example, and notes that divers’ pay has slipped by 20% in recent years in comparison with similar occupations; believes that while the oil industry is making record breaking super-profits it is only right that the highly important and dangerous job these divers do is fully recognised, and calls on the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association to meet RMT representatives at the earliest opportunity to try to settle this dispute to the satisfaction of both sides.
Supported by: Ms Rosemary Byrne, Campbell Martin
Lodged on 02 November 2006

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