Friday, August 14, 2015
North Sea Pilots Threaten Strike Amid Oil Downturn
At an Aug. 13 meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland, held by the British Airline Pilots' Assn., roughly one-third of helicopter pilots employed in North Sea oil and gas transport operations expressed the desire to go on strike. This was in response to the perceived exploitation of the oil and gas downturn by employers and the subsequent risk to safety of operations in the North Sea. "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," said BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan. "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." BALPA has agreed to run an indicative ballot asking members if they want to take strike action. The ballot will close Tuesday, Aug. 18.