Chopper crews may launch strike over pay parity

Helicopter
pilots are to be balloted for industrial action next week over their employer’s
slowness in narrowing the pay gap with their aircraft counterparts.

Two
hundred CHC Scotia pilots based in Scotland, Norwich, Humberside and Blackpool will
vote on whether to take strike action which could have a strong impact on North
Sea oil and gas operations.

The
company said  it would only close the
pay gap, which stands at 30 per cent for pilots and 20 per cent for first
officers, in stages over a three-and-a-half year period and the pay rises would
not be pensionable, claims the British Airlines Pilots’ Association union.

"The
two sides have been talking since May and the patience of pilots has run
out," said John Moore, principal negotiator for the British Air Line
Pilots Association (Balpa).

Christopher
Darke, general secretary of Balpa, said the ballot is part of a campaign to
ensure helicopter and aeroplane pilots receive similar rewards.

"It
is part of an international campaign to achieve parity between helicopter and
plane pilots. In Norway, pilots working for CHC Helicopter Services, a
subsidiary of CHC Scotia, are also acting to achieve parity. All helicopter
pilots in Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are considering their position
and we shall be meeting for a summit soon to discuss the next step," Darke
said.

By Paul Nelson

Comments are closed.