Unions' company hit list banks on Labour win
Thursday 13 March 1997
Union officials are targeting individual organisations and industrial sectors in preparation for the introduction of a law enforcing recognition where more than 50 per cent of employees vote for it.
The MSF white collar union yesterday announced its intention to "organise" employees in the North Sea oil industry. Roger Spiller, the union's national offshore secretary, pointed out that BP, Conoco, Mobil and Marathon were all resisting recognition but were now the subject of a new campaign by MSF.
The union also claimed yesterday that it had won negotiating rights at Elf's North Sea subsidiary after a 99.4 per cent vote in favour of recognition in a ballot organised by conciliation service Acas. Of 183 ballot papers issued, 159 returned votes in favour of union rights, with one spoiled paper and none against. It was the first vote taken in advance of Labour legislation and could mean that other ballots will be held elsewhere in advance of the law being passed and to avoid any possible litigation.
Roger Lyons, general secretary of MSF, said the vote was also held as a result of an initiative taken by the works council, set up under European law.
Representatives from France and Sweden on the council backed the idea of a ballot among British employees on the grounds that the company should have a "democratic attitude" to all its employees irrespective of nationality.
The latest issue of MSF Report, the union's journal, points out that the vote for recognition was achieved despite Elf's insistence that offshore workers did not want to be represented by a union. The union however now argues that Elf employees at the Piper Bravo platform - sister to Piper Alpha where more than 160 workers were killed in an explosion - together with colleagues at the Claymore and Saltire rigs had now secured full union rights.
An Elf spokeswoman said yesterday that the union would still have to prove that half or more of employees were fully paid-up members of MSF. "It is one thing to vote for recognition, quite another to be a union member," she said.
Mr Spiller said the union would be stepping up its campaign elsewhere in the sector where British unions had consistently failed to secure a foothold. It is understood the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union is also targeting the offshore industry in a campaign to win negotiating rights.
Mr Lyons said the union intended to take "full advantage" of the new atmosphere which would be created by a Labour government.
- 1 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 3 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Germanwings plane crash: Investigators may have already found remains of suspected killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...