NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

North Sea helicopter pilots vote to strike over pay

CHC helicopter on Mariner platform Image copyright CHC
Image caption The union claims CHC failed to offer an "acceptable" pay deal to its members

Helicopter pilots working for a company in the North Sea have voted for industrial action over a pay dispute.

The ballot conducted among members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) returned a 94% vote in favour of strike.

It also delivered unanimous support for action short of a strike.

CHC Helicopter said it had made a "competitive offer" on pay and it was disappointed by the results of the ballot.

The union claims CHC has failed to offer an "acceptable" pay deal for its members, despite months of negotiations.

Balpa general Secretary Brian Strutton said: "We have today 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."

Industrial action could be taken on dates to be announced over the period from 21 May to 5 November.

CHC pilots are based at Aberdeen, Humberside, Norwich and Sumburgh.

'Contingency plans'

There was a 77% ballot turnout of union members.

A spokesman for CHC said: "It was disappointing to hear the result of the recent ballot in favour of industrial action over pay.

"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."

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