After a round of vessel meetings by phone and the release of our flyer earlier today Go Offshore have finally listened and withdrawn their non-union agreement.
Go Offshore refused to correct the issues over the many times we had told them of the specific problems with the agreement during negotiations but admittedly it is better late than never. We will continue to update on the other major issues, and there are many, with the non-union agreement over the coming weeks.
Go Offshore had obviously hoped they would be able to get away with this sleight of hand in respect of the definition of an IR but once it was highlighted clearly with our MUA membership they had nowhere to hide. The agreement is littered with these types of issues and we hope with the exposure of the IR issue, members will understand that it is important we get this agreement right.
The damage that this agreement would have done to the IR qualification would have been irreversible and have far reaching effects.
Below is a summary of the issues that we in the agreement and it is important to read these to be clear on what this attack on our conditions meant.
The strength of the membership in their vocal opposition to this agreement no doubt had an effect on the company and our unity in these times is paramount to success.
This is an important victory but our vigilance must not waver and our unity must continue.
Deputy National Secretary
Some Key Issues with the Go Offshore Non-union Agreement
One of the MUA key claims has been the securing of the IR as the industry’s base qualification. We have consistently put this claim to Go. At one level they say they agree to it and understand the importance we give to the issue. As such they agree to maintain the IR as the base qualification in some of the Schedules such as 4, 5 and 6 (see Clause 40.2). While we clearly have a problem that no such commitment is made in respect of Schedule 3 the fact an IR is described here and in the relevant Schedules seems to meet our claim. But when we look at what Go have done with the definition of an IR is we see that rather defining an IR as “an employee who holds a Certificate of proficiency as an Integrated Rating” as requested time and time again by the MUA we see Go define an IR as “an employee who holds a Certificate of Proficiency”. By refusing to add “as an Integrated Rating” it means that any Certificate of Proficiency held by an employee passes the test such as Marine Radio Operator or Survival craft. These certificates are held by Master, Deck and Engineer officers opening up a whole can of worms as explained at many meetings this week.
Marine Cook and Marine Steward:
Go has refused to give the guarantee’s we have been seeking in respect of the commitments to a Marine Cook and Marine Steward. We have thrown these claims at Go time and time again and still they refuse to commit to these claims that help address the job security we are seeking for members in this area of work.
All other employers in the industry have agreed to a 1.5% pay increase from the date the agreement is signed & all other pay increases every 12 months after. Go Offshore are paying the first pay increase of 1.5% exactly 12 months after the agreement is signed. While this seems insignificant, and pay is certainly not the key issue in this EBA, Go Offshore are the only company to do this. Go are asking Go Offshore employees to vote to give their employer an advantage over all other employers when tendering for work on the basis of what they pay their workers. Such an advantage is also an agreement by Go workers to undercut the position of all other MUA members in the industry – that is agree to undermine the industry position and the positon of every other worker in the industry to give Go Offshore a leg up! Why would any MUA member vote to undercut the position of other MUA member in the offshore oil and gas industry? And what does this decision mean to those you have worked and socialized with for years. It also means that if Go workers agree to allow their wages to undercut everyone else in the industry then what stops the next employer going to their workers and asking for a 20% pay cut so they can win work. This creates a quick race to the bottom where the wages of MUA members are up for grabs to the worst employers so they can win work. For this reason alone, and on principle, we asked you to vote no.