EU/UK workers complained for alleged that AMEC replaced their Labors with Philippine Workforce at a lower Pay

Concern: the jacket for the Jasmine platform in the UK North Sea is towed out

Amec denies foul play over Filipino hirings

UK CONTRACTOR Amec has defended using up to 70 employees from the Philippines on the hook-up and commissioning of ConocoPhillips' Jasmine platform off the United Kingdom.

Other workers on the project raised concerns with Upstream that Filipino staff had been employed as cheap alternatives to UK or European Union labor.

They allege the Filipino staff, understood to be working a three-week on, three-week off shift rota, are receiving $900 per week after deductions with no pay for time spent onshore.

Amec confirmed it had engaged 38 Filipino personnel through the V-Ships agency to work as pipefitters and platers.

Up to 30 more and one Indian national are working as commissioning technicians for Amec subsidiary Gedi.

Amec denies the international workers are receiving lower rates than UK or EU employees and Upstream was unable to verify independently the alleged pay figures.

Pay rates and employment terms for the project have been agreed between the Unite and GMB unions and the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), using the collective OCA pay agreement as a benchmark.

UK or EU workers in similar roles to the Filipinos — classified as Category B under the OCA agreement — would receive a minimum of £247 per day ($370) as well as onshore pay, it is understood.

Amec said the workers all have the required competency levels and added: "The total remuneration of the Filipino workers is in line with OCA rates — i.e. rates for UK or EU workers.

"All personnel engaged, whether from the UK or from overseas, are employed according with the OCA with all personnel, including commissioning, being paid competitive market rates."

Unite regional organizer Wullie Wallace said he was not aware that international workers were receiving less pay than UK workers.

The international labor element on the project represents about 5% of the 1400-strong labor force.

Amec said the employment of overseas personnel on this North Sea project was "a contingency exercise to mitigate risk... to deliver the job safely and on time for the customer".

The overseas workforce would be used in the short-term to meet peak labor requirements and the company remained committed to using UK labor, it said.

A spokesperson for the UK contractor said recruitment for the Jasmine project had entailed a "huge coordinated program of advertising, road shows and working in partnership with the GMB and Unite unions".

Both Amec and the Unite union said the campaign to recruit UK labor had been more successful than anticipated and that less international labor than expected was being used.

V–Ships were unavailable for comment by press time.

Amec said V-Ships are recognized internationally for its high standards of employment and remuneration packages.

With report from Upstream

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