Striking divers vote to accept new pay deal

More than 900 North Sea divers and support staff who have been on strike since 1 November have voted overwhelmingly to accept a new pay deal.

The package will increase current rates by a cumulative 44.7% over the next two years.

More than 80% of RMT members voted to accept the deal, with 16% against, on an 80% turnout.

The settlement gives an immediate increase of 25% on all pay rates, with a further 5% on the new rates next April, and increases in November 2007 and 2008 of RPI (retail prices index) plus 1.5% or 5%, whichever is greater.

The seven employers signed up to the deal will all now pay eight bank holidays, up from four previously. Each has also undertaken to agree proper bargaining structures with the union, although pay will continue to be negotiated collectively.

“By any standard this is a tremendous victory for a group of workers who have displayed grit, determination and complete solidarity in their campaign to win a fair pay increase,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.

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