We are informed that the British Offshore Industry Liaison Committee, OILC, will announced its transition from being a rank-and-file organisation to becoming an independent trade union later today [Friday 4 September].
Let it be known throughout the British offshore industry that OFS, Norway's leading offshore union, is applauding and welcoming your decision.
We are organising 6,000 offshore workers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf; highly skilled engineers and technicians as well as utility and catering personnel; oil company employees on fixed installations as well as contracting personnel on mobile rigs.
We are politically independent, with no party ties.
We recognise our own historical development as an offshore trades union in the struggle that the OILC is currently experiencing.
The issues that you have put on the agenda are strikingly similar to the problems we faced 15 years ago, when OFS was formed.
We shall follow your further development and growth with great interest.
The potential for an offshore trades union of vertical character must be enormous in British waters. An organisation of top and bottom, left and right, will be a challenge to the industry, but - what's much more important - it is the only answer to the everyday problems facing the offshore worker himself. Some of these problems are related to work-environment, safety, wages, work-hours, schedules, social dumping, and can only be solved by a strong and firm union encompassing all levels and branches of offshore workers.
Our support of the OILC must be real and practical. We look forward to visitng your organisation in the near future to discuss posssible ways of establishing a formal cooperation across the British/Norwegian sector line.
We congratulate you with the new-born baby, and wish you all possible luck.
The future is ours!