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North Sea Helicopter Pilots to Be Balloted for Strike Action

Published in Oil Industry News on Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Graphic for News Item: North Sea Helicopter Pilots to Be Balloted for Strike Action

Oil and Gas People has learned that BALPA (The British Airline Pilots Association) will ballot its members for strike action, in a dispute with CHC Helicopter.

BALPA the union that represents CHC pilots in the North Sea has issued a memo to members advising of the Ballot.

The action comes after CHC failed to make an acceptable pay offer at the last failure to agree meeting and then allegedly failed in a promise to refer the matter to ACAS who would provide mediation services between the two parties. CHC have now offered to arrange a third party mediator but BALPA have already started with the member ballot after accusing CHC of deliberately trying to frustrate the process. In its memo to members BALPA said:

After the Company felt unable to make an acceptable pay offer at the last Failure to Agree meeting, they chose to take the available option to refer the matter to ACAS. Despite much prompting over the last few weeks there has been no sign that the Company are making active efforts to make a reality of their stated intention. We can only conclude from this that the Company are trying to frustrate the procedure. As a result, the General Secretary is approaching the NEC to ask them for permission to conduct an Industrial Action Ballot in support of our pay claim.

A spokesman for CHC Helicopter said: “We are in talks with BALPA regarding a pay settlement and hope to reach a mutually acceptable position in the near future.”

In a further memo BALPA advised members:

ALPA have agreed to take part in the third party conciliation process but are continuing, in parallel, with the Industrial Action process. We can announce that on March 7th, the NEC approved our request to carry out an Industrial Action ballot and for that ballot to be conducted as soon as possible.

There is a process that has to be followed very carefully in order to carry out a legitimate ballot and it may appear that nothing is happening immediately. We can assure you that a huge amount of preparation is being carried out by the BALPA HQ staff to make sure that every step of the process is done properly and with the correct notice periods. We will be arranging for a members' meeting to be held before the ballot goes live, where you will be briefed both on the process and on your rights and protections while taking Industrial Action as a result of a properly organised ballot.

No date has been set yet for the Ballot but Oil and Gas People understands it will be conducted in the very near future. Strike action may ground dozens of flights daily to and from some major North Sea platforms including those operated by Shell and Total.

If you have a story contact our news team in confidence news@oilandgaspeople.com


CHC Helicopter, Strike Action, North Sea, Oil and Gas, Exclusive

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