Offshore Energy reported Thursday that North Sea helicopter pilots had indicated strong support for strike action if helicopter companies do not make serious improvements in the way they deal with job losses. As a response to the announcement, Oil & Gas UK has urged the industry to reject conflict and work together to avoid industrial action.
To remind, last week, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) called its members for a ballot on strike action resulting in overwhelming support from the members of the association.
Oil & Gas UK, the representative organization for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, previously expressed its disappointment that BALPA members had called for a ballot saying that “industrial action will only exacerbate the real challenges facing the business”.
Commenting on Thursday’s announcement that BALPA members support strike action, Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, said:
“In light of the damage to competitiveness driven by rising costs and exacerbated by the falling oil price, companies on the UK Continental Shelf have been working hard to improve efficiency and reduce expenditure. Regretfully, this transformation is not without difficult decisions having to be made, but this focused approach and concerted action is beginning to yield results which will help to restore the attractiveness of the basin.
“However, there is still a long way to go. The lower and volatile oil price demands the sector becomes more efficient if we are to weather the downturn, and emerge in competitive shape, capable of again offering an attractive investment proposition. Safe operations must not be compromised at any stage of the process.”
Michie also added: “As we work through these challenging times, it is important that any changes are implemented as constructively as possible to minimise the impact on those affected.
“We urge all stakeholders in this great UK industry – companies, unions and employees alike – to reject conflict and work together to avoid industrial action which would only serve to further undermine the sector’s future in terms of jobs, investment, innovation and energy security for the long-term.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff