OFFSHORE workers were urged yesterday to opt back in to the Working Time Directive, aimed at limiting the working week to 48 hours, to protect their jobs.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said potential job losses could be minimised if staff were covered by the directive.
Union members are to be balloted on industrial action over issues including shifts, sick pay and jobs amid the slump in oil prices.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is urging offshore members to opt back in to the provisions of the Working Time Directive as that move will seriously hamper efforts by the employers to impose shift patterns which would wreck the work-life balance of staff who already spend prolonged periods away from home.
“The attack on jobs and working conditions in Britain’s offshore industry is as sharp now as it was at the bottom of the oil price slump and RMT believes that companies are exploiting the situation to launch an unprecedented assault on the workforce and the imposition of the new shift patterns is central to that.”