Chrysaor’s plan to put new workers on a standard offshore rota is a “breath of fresh air” according to a union boss.
Last week the operator completed its £2bn acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ North Sea assets, with rotas being “top of the list” according to chief executive Phil Kirk.
Around 600 core workers and 400 contractors are coming into the business, with plans to move them from their normal two weeks on, two weeks off (2:2) system – and other variations – to a 2:2, 2:4 pattern, improving their terms and conditions.
Core workers are being consulted first, with contractors to follow, which Mr Kirk said would help ensure there are “no second-class citizens”.
RMT regional officer Jake Molloy praised the move, arguing all operators and contractors should try to ensure people working on the same assets are on the same rotas.
He said: “I think Chrysaor is a breath of fresh air in terms of their approach and attitude towards narrowing that divide and creating that one team culture.
“Rotas, as we’ve said for the last four or five years, is the biggest issues amongst workers.
“I’m delighted that (Phil Kirk) is essentially agreeing with our position that there is a ‘them and us’ and there doesn’t have to be and he’s going to do everything he can with Chrysaor to ensure that divide is narrowed to the smallest margin.”
Mr Molloy said there is still a prevalent “them and us” culture offshore, where employees of operators are on different rotas than contracting staff.
Many operators moved to 3:3 amid the recent oil downturn to cut costs although a number have since moved back amid concerns about the impact three-week offshore working can have on employees’ work-life balance and mental health.
RMT has been campaigning for a standardised rota for the whole North Sea industry.
Mr Molloy added: “My view is of course there is a ‘them and us’.
“You have oil company employees working two weeks on, three weeks off (2:3) and enjoying all the benefits which working for an oil company brings, whilst having contractors working 3:3 and being treated quite appallingly in some cases.
“There is a ‘them and us’ but there needn’t be because if there is a will then there is a way to resolve it. If you’ve got a good operator, a good duty holder, who acts responsibly then you can avoid that them and us-type scenario.”