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RMT demands stronger workers’ rights on offshore wind farms

By staff - National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), April 5, 2023

OFFSHORE union RMT today demanded trade union rights and fair pay in the Offshore Wind industry following an independent report by the UK government’s Offshore Wind Champion Tim Pick.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that it was disappointing that trade unions were not consulted as part of the report, especially as it acknowledges the importance of a just transition to the 50,000 jobs which are expected to be lost from the oil and gas industry by 2030.

“RMT is calling for mandatory collective bargaining in the offshore wind supply chain for fixed and floating projects, including in low tax low regulation Freeports where the government intend much of this accelerated offshore wind activity to take place.

“However, we welcome the recognition of the delay in skills passporting for our offshore members, the move away from voluntary local content targets and the linking of seabed leasing rights to supply chain development, which could be funded out of Crown Estates’ profits. 

“The recognition of the advantage gained in the US and EU by massive subsidy commitment to green energy is also significant but we need some reality to prevail over the damaging effects of government policy to date on increasing jobs, safety and skills across the offshore wind supply chain.

“For example, crew in the offshore wind supply chain can be paid below the national minimum wage to work at sea for months on end and that needs to change fast,” he said.


  1. Tim Pick’s independent report was published this afternoon and is here.
  2. Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland grant leasing rights to offshore wind developers. 
  3. The Crown Estate profits jumped by £43.4m to £312.7m in 2021-22. The seabed portfolio is valued at £5bn.
  4. The Digital Offshore Skills Passport being developed through the North Sea Transition Deal has been delayed by disagreement between the standards setting bodies, OPITO and GWO.
  5. OPITO estimate the 50,000 jobs connected to the offshore oil and gas industry will be lost by 2030 as part of the transition to net zero energy supply.
  6. The National Minimum Wage (Offshore Employment) (Amendment) Order came into effect in October 2020. It extends entitlement to the NMW for all seafarers working between UK ports (effectively, the 12 mile territorial water limit) and those working from a UK port out to an oil and gas installation on the UK Continental Shelf. It is flag and seafarer nationality blind. But it does not apply to seafarers working on the UK Exclusive Economic Zone which is the jurisdiction for offshore wind/renewable energy projects beyond the territorial water limit, unde the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Official UK government guidance here.
  7. Tees Valley Combined Authority and private industries with Freeport interests are on the Offshore Wind Acceleration Taskforce’s Supply Chain and Infrastructure Working Group

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author.

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