Labour MEPs support union rights in North Sea oil and gas platforms - 2012-10-09
Proposals that would give direct control of oil and gas platforms to the European Commission were today opposed by Labour MEPs.
In today's vote in the European Parliament's Industry Committee, Labour voted to ensure a better role for elected safety representatives, a greater voice for trade unions in the preparation of safety reports and better protection for whistleblowers.
Labour's Peter Skinner MEP said "Today, we saw off the European Commission's attempt to take over the regulation of offshore oil and gas safety.
"I opposed proposals from the European Commission for them to impose their own direct control fromBrusselsover oil and gas platforms. Instead, we supported better, safer drilling under the well-established system we have on British off-shore platforms" continued Peter Skinner, Labour's representative on the European Parliament's Industry Committee.
"In strengthening the role of whistle-blowers and trade union representatives, the new Directive should help reduce the likelihood of the fatalities such as last year's oil spill in theGulf of Mexicoand the Piper Alpha Disaster in 1987," he said.
As well as Unite and the RMT, Mr Skinner has been supported so far by both the UK government and the oil companies in opposing the Commission who wished to create a Regulation (giving it direct control over regulation of the platforms) rather than a Directive (where national governments will decide how to apply the legislation).
The European Parliament's Environment and Legal Committees have already supported the proposal for an EU Directive rather than an EU Regulation. After today's vote, the proposed legislation will go to a plenary session of the European Parliament later this year and from there to agreement with the governments of the member states of the EU.
For more information please contact David Poyser on 00 32 479 790053