The Blacklist Support Group (BSG) has called on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to widen the remit of its investigation into blacklisting and look into the NRB system in the North Sea.
NRB stands for ‘Not Required Back’ is often added to a worker’s file by an oil rig manager if the individual has raised concerns about safety issues or attempts to recruit co-workers to the a trade union. Concerns have been heightened since the Super Puma tragedy on 23 August that claimed the lives of four offshore workers.
BSG says “it is widely known that the vast majority of oil rig workers have been unhappy with that particular helicopter for many years but getting anyone to talk publicly has been almost impossible. Both RMT and UNITE unions have criticised the Super Puma and have argued that NRB creates a culture of fear making workers reluctant to make any public criticism for fear that their livelihoods will be ruined.”
BSG – the grassroots campaign that has spearheaded the campaign to expose blacklisting in the construction industry , leading to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation – now wants the committee of MPs to widen its remit.
It says the covert blacklisting organisation The Consulting Association kept blacklist files on some offshore union activists. Professor Charles Woolfson was added to the blacklist for carrying out research into safety in the North Sea after the Piper Alpha disaster.
BSG spokesperson Brian Higgins said: “NRB in the North Sea is a blacklist – plain and simple. A blacklist that targets union activists and workers conscientious enough to raise safety concerns.
“Whenever workers are worried about losing their jobs if they complain about safety, that is a recipe for a tragedy. The Select Committee has helped to expose the secret blacklist in construction. Now it should shine a light into the same process in the North Sea.”