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North Sea helicopter pilots vote for industrial action

The decision comes amid a dispute over pay with employers CHC Scotia.

CHC Scotia pilots are based at Aberdeen, Humberside, Norwich and Sumburgh (Danny Lawson/PA)
CHC Scotia pilots are based at Aberdeen, Humberside, Norwich and Sumburgh (Danny Lawson/PA)

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

The ballot conducted among members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) returned a 94% vote for strike action, as well as unanimous support for action short of a strike.

It comes as the union claims CHC Scotia 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 May 21 to November 5.

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

There was a 77% ballot turnout among the union members.

A CHC Helicopter spokesman 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.”

PA

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