North Sea divers accuse employers of resorting to bully-boy tactics in bid to end strike

Striking North Sea divers and support workers have claimed employers are resorting to bullying and intimidation tactics to undermine strike action.

A strike by more than 900 diving personnel in a row over pay has entered its second day. The RMT union, which represents the divers, said reports were coming in of intimidating telephone calls being made to strikers’ homes and attempts to bully people into signing individual contracts.

“These are classic tactics from employers who should be spending their time trying to find a negotiated settlement to this dispute,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow, who will attend a mass meeting of striking divers in Aberdeen tomorrow.

Employers have offered divers a three-year package that amounts to a rise of 37%. The divers had asked for a 50% pay rise this year.

The RMT recommended its members accepted the offer, but they voted against it.

Employers have contacted both the RMT and the conciliation service Acas in an attempt to resolve the dispute, said Colin Gibson, chairman of the group of employers’ companies negotiating with the divers.

“We’re prepared to get round the table with the RMT or to use Acas to resolve the dispute,” Gibson said. “We hope to resolve the dispute as soon as possible and have an open mind.”

Comments are closed.