This year, the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) merged into RMT. It is twenty years since the tragedy that prompted the OILC to form.
On 6 July 1988, 167 workers died in a fire on the Piper Alpha oil rig. Later the same year, a gas explosion on the Ocean Odyssey killed a man. It was the third gas explosion in the North Sea in less than 3 months.
The root cause of these deaths? Capitalism's insatiable thirst for profits and contempt for the safety of the workers who produce those profits. In the words of one oil consultant, companies "cannot afford to be over-extravagant on safety".