Monday 26 February 2024
 4.4°C   SW Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Business / Bristow helicopter crews vote for ‘last resort’ industrial action

An archive image of a Bristow helicopter at Scatsta. Photo: Shetland News

HELICOPTER crews working at Bristow have overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The ballot conducted among members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) closed on Wednesday and returned a 96 per cent yes vote on a 93 per cent turn out.

In Shetland Bristow operates the contract for the Sumburgh-based coastguard search and rescue helicopter. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have been approached for a response.

BALPA said it would not provide details of the number of Shetland-based employees involved in the ballot.

BALPA general secretary Amy Leversidge said: “This ballot is a clear indication of the strength of feeling amongst our members.

“Despite months of negotiation Bristow’s management has failed to listen to employees and offer a fair and reasonable pay deal.

“Our members, who include pilots and technical crew (winch paramedics and winch operators) operate in some of the most treacherous conditions.

“They provide vital search and rescue services and transport workers to the oil and gas rigs in the North Sea.

“For years, our members have remained loyal to Bristow enduring pay freezes and cuts while they were in difficult times.

“It is unreasonable for Bristow to expect their helicopter pilots and technical crews to continue with austerity pay at a time when the company is booming and it is BALPA members who are at the heart of that success.”

She added that industrial action is “always a last resort, and none of our members want to be in this position – but clearly enough is enough”.

“Industrial action is always a last resort and none of our members want to be in this position but clearly enough is enough.

Leversidge encouraged Bristow to “get back to the bargaining table with BALPA and give our members a fair and reasonable pay offer”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

A spokesperson for Bristow Helicopters said: “We are extremely disappointed by the outcome of this ballot and that, despite Bristow tabling an improved offer in a bid to avoid strike action, staff were not given an opportunity to vote on that offer before being balloted to participate in strike action.

“We believe our latest offer is highly competitive and remain committed to working collaboratively with BALPA to arrive at a fair and sustainable agreement that recognises the hard work and commitment of our team and to avoid unnecessary strike action.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.