LABOUR’S new shadow Scottish secretary will meet with union representatives from the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen today.
Dave Anderson’s visit comes amid a long-running dispute over pay for North Sea workers.
Union members have already taken industrial action in protest at cuts in pay and allowances, and are due to stage another series of strikes starting next week if the deadlock with employer Wood Group cannot be broken.
The Blaydon MP - who was appointed to the shadow cabinet last month - will speak with Unite shop stewards who represent members working for offshore contractors, including Wood Group.
Mr Anderson will also meet union officials from the Offshore Co-ordinating Group (OCG) and with Labour members of Aberdeen City Council who support the OCG’s call for a national UK summit to address the challenges facing the oil and gas industry.
He said: “Labour is focused on working with unions and employers to ensure that we can maximise the economic opportunities from the North Sea. I am coming to Aberdeen to listen and to help.
“However, one thing is certain - if the industry is to thrive, we need companies to co-operate with their workers and treat them fairly.
“I am very pleased to be able to meet trade unionists standing up for their rights. In the North Sea and right across the country, we need an economy that works for the many and not just the few.”
Unite’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “We were very pleased when Dave Anderson accepted the invitation to meet our shop stewards.
“Taking strike action is always a last resort for trade-union members and the support and solidarity that workers receive from the labour movement is extremely important.”
Mr Anderson took over the shadow cabinet role after Labour’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray quit the post in June, calling on Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as leader.
The north-east England parliamentarian currently sits on the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster.
After being appointed, he said he would seek a meeting with Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale “as soon as possible”.
Ms Dugdale is currently on holiday and will therefore not be able to meet Mr Anderson on this visit, a party spokesman confirmed.