North Sea oil divers face bully tactics during strike

Divers have faced intimidation by employers
Divers have faced intimidation by employers

Personal harrassment by managers has been reported by North Sea oil divers who have launched an indefinite strike over pay.

Submitted by Ramona on November 3, 2006

The strike by over 900 divers has entered its third day, and reports have been made that management are harrassing and intimidating workers in a bid to undermine the strike. Workers have been receiving intimidating phone calls at home urging them to return to work and sign individual contracts, a classic tactic used to break solidarity between strikers.

The divers, members of the RMT union, have demanded an immediate 50% pay rise from their employers. They have been offered a rise of 37% over the next three years which the RMT urged them to accept, but the divers voted for strike action.

The divers work at depths of over 300 feet in the freezing North Sea waters, often having to spend up to four weeks in pressurised cabins to prepare them for diving expeditions in the freezing North Sea. The strike is bound to have a great impact on North Sea oil production, although decreased production is not expected to begin for a few more days. Most of the striking divers work in either UK or North Sea waters, but some divers as far away as Singapore have also stopped work.

No talks have been scheduled between employers and strikers so far. The strikers are due to meet in Aberdeen today to discuss the strike.