North Sea helicopter pilots mull strike action

North Sea pilots are considering a strike action over the possibility of losing their jobs. More than a third of helicopter pilots working in the area met last week to talk […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

North Sea pilots are considering a strike action over the possibility of losing their jobs.

More than a third of helicopter pilots working in the area met last week to talk about planned redundancies.

Companies such as Bristow Helicopters and CHC Scotia recently announced job cuts totaling 180 positions.

The meeting, organised by BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association), aimed to hear the pilots’ point of view about the redundancies.

It believes it poses a real risk to safety as a consequence.

Jim McAuslan, BALPA General secretary said: “Pilots know that jobs will be lost but there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it and the helicopter companies need to know that we will not accept their approach. We want decent voluntary terms to attract willing victims, more part time working options to save jobs and objective and transparent redundancy selection criteria which pay proper regard to flying experience – a critical factor in maintaining safety off shore.”

Bristow Helicopters said it has been consulting with its employees and trade unions.

It added in a statement: “Bristow will continue to look at ways to mitigate the proposed redundancies… We are disappointed that Balpa is running an indicative ballot during this difficult time for the industry.

“Bristow remains fully focused on safety throughout this process and all pilots who have been provisionally selected for redundancy have been excused from flying duties.”

BALPA members have until tomorrow to decide on the strike action.

EDF Energy workers postponed a strike action last week.