Helicopter pilots back strike action in North sea sector pay dispute
Helicopter pilots working in the North Sea oil and gas fields have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.
In a statement confirming the outcome of a ballot on industrial action, pilots’ union BALPA stated that 94 per cent of those who voted had backed strike action on a ballot turnout of 77 per cent of eligible members.
The dispute concerns pilots working for helicopter transport services company CHC based at Aberdeen, Humberside, Norwich and Sumburgh, and the BALPA statement also confirmed that the ballot would permit industrial action on dates yet to be announced in the period from 21 May to 5 November 2019.
BALPA stated: “Despite months of negotiations, the company have failed to offer a pay deal acceptable to our members, which is why we took the decision to ballot for industrial action. We have informed CHC of the result of this ballot, and we are hopeful the company will put an acceptable offer on the table before we have to act on the mandate we received today.
In a statement CHC stated that they were disappointed by the ballot decision, and said: “We continue to negotiate with BALPA to find a mutually acceptable agreement. We believe we have made a competitive offer based on the ongoing challenging market conditions. In fact, it is the best offer made to UK rotorcraft pilots in the past five years.
“We are working on comprehensive contingency plans to ensure any disruption in the future to offshore flights is kept to a minimum.”