Unite condemns offshore safety and aviation chiefs’ stunt as ‘dangerous’


03 June 2016

Britain’s biggest union, Unite, has today (Friday 3 June) condemned the actions of four senior offshore helicopter safety and aviation chiefs as “offensive and dangerous”.

Energy Voice reported yesterday (2 June) that – despite a pending investigation – Gilles Bruniaux, vice president of aviation safety for Airbus Helicopters; Gretchen Haskins, chief executive of HeliOffshore; Duncan Trapp, vice president of safety and quality for CHC Helicopters; and Les Linklater, Step Change in Safety executive director, all raised their hands to say they would fly on the H225 and consent to their children flying on the helicopters.



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Step Change in Safety interview in relation to the recent helicopter crash in Norway. Pictured – L-R Les Linklater (executive director of Step Change in Safety), Gretchen Haskins (chief exec of HeliOffshore), Gilles Bruniaux (vp of aviation safety for Airbus Helicopters) and Duncan Trapp(vp of safety and quality for CHC). Picture by Kami Thomson 01-06-16

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) directive said both H225 and AS332 (L2) variants should cease flying across Europe. The move followed the Accident Investigation Board Norway’s (AIBN) request as its preliminary report identified a “catastrophic failure” and signs of ‘fatigue’ in parts of the main gearbox which rendered early safety warnings “not effective”.

The findings were published just hours after the safety and helicopter chiefs, in a publicity stunt, backed the H225s. The EASA move comes on the back of the fatal 29 April crash of a H225 (LN-OJF) on the coast of Norway in which 13 passengers and crew died.

Wullie Wallace Unite regional industrial officer said:

“Unite’s offshore members are disgusted at a publicity stunt by four senior offshore experts in voting with a show of hands to say that they would fly in the Super Puma 225s and also voting to say that they would allow their children to fly in these helicopters. It is grossly offensive and dangerous for any individual to say the safety of offshore workers can be guaranteed.

“The actions of Les Linklater, executive director of Step Change in Safety, an organisation which states that its number one priority is the health and safety of offshore workers, voting to say he would fly in these helicopters beggars belief.

“Unite has been inundated with calls from angry offshore members criticising and questioning the integrity of the four involved with this stunt and challenging the role played by Step Change in this event. Unite believes that EASA has taken the right decision to ground the 225 fleet and will work with the enquiry to make helicopter flights a safer mode of travel for our members going back and forward to their work.”


For further information please contact Wullie Wallace on 01224 645271 or 07712 444952.

Twitter: @UniteScotland

Notes to editors

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

– See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-condemns-offshore-safety-and-aviation-chiefs-stunt-as-dangerous/#sthash.VkCBbpj0.dpuf





OCG on latest report into Bergen helicopter tragedy

2 June 2016

For immediate release_88165179_ocgbbc


OCG on latest report into Bergen helicopter tragedy


Responding to publication of the latest report into the Bergen helicopter tragedy, Tommy Campbell, chair of the Offshore Coordinating Group (OCG) of trade unions said:


“The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN)  report is a further development in the investigation process, but it is just part of that process. The OCG will await the outcome of investigations aimed at providing proof around what caused the tragedy in Norway and thereafter we will react to those findings.


“The OCG accepts and fully understands the concerns of our respective members and their families, and the OCG trade unions will continue to support members during this period. There is no question of this aircraft type coming back into service anytime soon as a consequence of these latest findings. If that position changes, we will engage with our members to determine a position”.





The OCG was recently established to coordinate trade union policy and campaigns in the oil and gas sector. The following unions are members of the OCG: Unite, RMT, GMB, BALPA and Nautilus International.





Tommy Campbell, Unite and Chair OCG 07810157920


Jake Molloy, RMT and Vice Chair OCG 07711 359 705


Mick Brade BALPA 07867521577


Oil and Gas Unions Challenge North Sea Employers Over Cheap Labour Use


Oil and Gas Unions Challenge North Sea Employers Over Cheap Labour Use

Published in Oil Industry News on Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Graphic for News Item: Oil and Gas Unions Challenge North Sea Employers Over Cheap Labor Use

Maritime and oil and gas unions affiliated to global federations IndustriAll and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) met in Aberdeen 19-20 May 2016 to begin development of an industrial and political strategy to challenge the replacement of quality jobs with cheap labor by employers in the North Sea.

The group represents workers from Denmark, Norway and UK.

ITF stated that in both the oil-service sector and within the subsea-contractor segment there are still companies that are not covered by collective bargaining agreements, something the North Sea oil and gas supply chain and hubs group intends to address.

In the maritime sector ‘social dumping’ in the region has expanded through the employment of non-European workers resulting in unfair competition and redundancies for local workers, ITF noted.

According to the organization, the oil service, subsea and maritime supply companies situated in the North Sea continental shelves are considered the main targets of the campaign to expose the industry’s part in the ‘race to the bottom’ which has seen the loss of thousands of British, Danish and Norwegian national’s jobs, estimated to be over 50,000.

IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina said: “These companies are over-eager to terminate traditional contracts. The competition to cut costs and reduce working conditions in this region is stark. The sheer level of the cutbacks being made is having a severe impact on health and safety of workers. We’re waiting to hear the outcome of the investigation into the death of a Filipino seafarer who died on Technip owned and managed vessel Deep Energy in Invergordon this month – cases like that are obviously of concern.”

General secretary of the ITF Steve Cotton said: “The Oil and Gas Authority are talking about the desire to retain people and skills in the sector and to retrain and redeploy the workforce, but we need to see real commitment to that in terms of action.”

ITF also added that further meetings of the group are planned to progress an industrial and political campaign gathering support from the offshore workforce and political groups in Europe.

Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.com