Unite Scotland welcomes furlough agreement for offshore catering workers
- Tuesday 7 April 2020
Unite Scotland has today (7 April) welcomed an agreement to furlough offshore catering workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA) which covers around 2,750 workers involves seven offshore catering companies including Conntrak, ESS, Entier, Trinity, Aramark, Sodexo and Foss. COTA members deliver catering and ancillary services across installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
The COTA companies will implement the Government Job Retention Scheme and will pay those individuals who are furloughed in line with the scheme. The Government scheme provides that individuals are paid 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month effective from 1 March 2020 for a three-month period.
The COTA furlough agreement will include:
- Those who are temporarily down-manned.
- Those who are ‘shielding’ in line with public health guidance or those due to being ‘high risk’ and therefore should not work offshore during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Individuals who are employed as ‘ad-hoc’ who have not worked in the last three-months and who are not able to work in the forthcoming three-months where no work is envisioned for this period.
The country’s leading offshore trade union also last week welcomed a Supplementary Project Agreement (SPA) for those workers covered by the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement (OCPA). The SPA will ensure Unite’s members at risk of redundancy or lay off, and those recently made redundant, can benefit from the UK Government Job Retention Scheme. It will also protect those with underlying health problems that have been told to 'shield' themselves.
Shauna Wright, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Unite Scotland is delighted that all COTA companies in the North Sea have decided to implement the government furlough retention scheme, which we have been campaigning for across all the offshore sector. The agreement will relieve the fear and anxiety for hundreds of our members providing catering and ancillary services offshore as their jobs are safe and it will also reduce the financial hardship which a redundancy situation would bring at this time.”
Notes to editors:
Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.