Offshore workers have backed a “landmark” agreement their union said will lead to better terms and conditions.

Members of the GMB working for North Sea oil and gas companies endorsed the Energy Services Agreement (ESA), described as a groundbreaking new collective agreement for thousands of engineering and maintenance workers.

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The union described it as a landmark deal, saying it will benefit North Sea workers by providing an equal footing to negotiate pay, terms and conditions, and health, safety and welfare standards.

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Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said: “This new agreement marks the start of a new way forward, ensuring fair work and better terms and conditions for our members offshore.

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“We can now see the deal has wide support and is a great example of collaborative working between unions, contracting companies, and operators to help ensure the security of the offshore energy industry for many years to come.

“This new agreement will help to improve the terms and conditions for our members offshore and we will use it to lobby hard for other contractors outside the ESA to join and improve working conditions in the North Sea for all their workers.”