Specifically, the Union highlighted that the oil price wars and the public health at risk could lead the North Sea oil and gas sector to an overall damage, placing tens of thousands of offshore workers out of work, increasing the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and extinguishing prospects of a just transition for oil and gas workers.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash commented that
We are extremely concerned at the potential of the current double edged crisis to permanently damage members’ jobs and conditions, as well as production capacity in the North Sea. We are hearing that exploration projects on the UKCS are being delayed or cancelled as oil gas prices plummet to unsustainable levels.
Cash added that the Government's Vision 2035 goal looks in serious jeopardy, adding that immediate Government intervention, co-ordinated with trade unions, industry and the Scottish Government, is essential in order to protect jobs and skills across the supply chain, as well as the investment needed to preserve the North Sea’s importance to the national energy mix.
Concluding, he stated that following Equinor's plan, that has set up department to respond to the COVID-19, the UK Government must agree a new offshore oil and gas industrial strategy with the offshore unions and industry in order to prevent catastrophic job losses and skills shortages especially in Scotland from the combined impact of collapsing oil prices and COVID-19.