August 20, 2015 / 3:58 PM / 5 years ago

North Sea helicopter pilots threaten strike action

LONDON (Reuters) - North Sea helicopter pilots, vital for transporting offshore oil workers to and from platforms, threatened on Thursday to go on strike unless their employers improve voluntary redundancy terms in view of threatened job cuts caused by the low oil price.

Pilots are asking their employers to make better voluntary redundancy arrangements to reassure employees who are uncertain about whether their jobs are secure.

“The way the companies are going about (job cuts) is causing massive frustration,” said Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA).

The union said pilots were complaining of their crews making mistakes because they were distracted and concerned by the prospect of losing their jobs.

The union’s executive council will decide early next month whether to move to a formal strike vote, BALPA said in a statement.

Last month offshore oil workers who are members of the Unite union voted against a proposal to change shift patterns and sick and holiday pay, leaving the option open for them to also vote on strike action.

Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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