Offshore helicopter reintroduction petition launched by Unite union

Offshore helicopter reintroduction petition launched by Unite union

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-4094714

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SP225OS

A union petition calling on offshore operators not to reintroduce Super Puma 225 and L2 helicopters back into service has been launched.

It follows a UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) decision to lift the ban on the aircraft if operators met certain safety conditions.

They were grounded following a fatal crash off Norway in 2016.

Unite the union, regional officer, Tommy Campbell said: “Our members are telling us that they have no confidence in the safety of these airframes and neither do their families. Offshore workers deserve to return back home safe to loved ones from working in the North Sea.

Unite Back Home Safe 2017 petition calls for a vote of ‘no-confidence’ in Super Puma Chopper

VONC

The crash in April last year killed 13 people, including Iain Stewart from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

The CAA criteria announced in July included:

  • Change in the design by removal of the components that were susceptible to premature deterioration
  • Earlier replacement of component
  • Design change to introduce an improved maintenance inspection method to detect any deterioration at an early stage
  • More frequent inspections
  • Reduction in the thresholds for rejecting components based upon early signs of any deterioration

The Super Puma 225 came down near the island of Turoey, near Bergen, while it was returning from an oil field.

A report in April into the crash said there was no explanation as to why a detection system did not spot signs of damage to the gearbox.

Rotors
The rotors detached from the helicopter

 


Offshore Health & Safety is no accident support Unites Back Home Safe campaign 2017 and sign the petition and share with your friends and family raise helicopter safety with your MP or MSP  and get involved in the campaign.

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Unite Scotland says that the union ballot shows overwhelming support for Strike action by Unite members grades A-E employed by Aramark, Compass and Trinity working in the North Sea

1-8baff64187OFFICIAL DISPUTE

 

http://cotapayballot2017.weebly.com/

Unite Media Release – 23rd August – for Immediate Use

COTA Ballot for industrial action

For all outlets, correspondents and reporters

TOP LINE

Offshore catering workers on brink of industrial action if employers don’t offer a wage deal. Unite Scotland says that the union ballot shows overwhelming support for action on rigs controlled by Aramark, Compass and Trinity.

The result of a Unite Scotland ballot of union members in catering in the North Sea has delivered a massive 80% in favour of some form of industrial action including strike action.

The employers – the Catering Offshore Traders Association (COTA) – are insisting on forcing a second year standstill wage freeze in the sector.

Vic Fraser, Regional Organiser for Unite Scotland said: “Offshore catering workers in these three massive companies have spoken. They’ve said ‘Enough is enough – a further year’s freeze on wages is not on’. It’s time the employers came back to the negotiating table instead of issuing ultimatums.”

COTA have announced that they intend to impose a wage freeze for 2016/17 in spite of the union ballot result. Other workers in other sectors have been offered wage rises.

Vic Fraser added: “ This flies in the face of any sensible industrial relations. Workers in other sectors of the oil industry offshore are being offered increases on basic rates so why can’t the COTA employers offer the same to the catering workers. Unite Scotland want to avoid industrial action by negotiating a reasonable deal. So who is it that is being unreasonable here? It isn’t the union.”

Media Release from Bob Wylie Media Unite Scotland 07711751570

Further comment Vic Fraser Unite Regional Officer m 07718 667245 / 01224 645271.

Ends


protest COMPASS

Updated: North Sea caterers on ‘brink’ of industrial action over pay dispute, unions claim

Written by  – 23/08/2017 1:47 pm

Members of the Unite Union protesting against North Sea catering employers in October 2015.

Offshore catering workers are on the brink of industrial action if North Sea employers do not offer a wage deal, according to trade union Unite.

Worforce representatives say that the union ballot shows “overwhelming support” for action on rigs controlled by employers Aramark, Compass and Trinity.

The ballot showed 80% of members working in the offshore catering industry are in favour of some form of industrial action including strike action.

The employers – the Catering Offshore Traders Association (COTA) – are insisting on forcing a second year standstill wage freeze in the sector.

Vic Fraser, regional organiser for Unite Scotland said: “Offshore catering workers in these three massive companies have spoken. They’ve said ‘Enough is enough – a further year’s freeze on wages is not on’. It’s time the employers came back to the negotiating table instead of issuing ultimatums.”

Unite say COTA has announced the intention to impose a wage freeze for 2016/17 in spite of the union ballot result.

The union added that other workers in other sectors have been offered wage rises.

Mr Fraser added: “This flies in the face of any sensible industrial relations.

“Workers in other sectors of the oil industry offshore are being offered increases on basic rates so why can’t the COTA employers offer the same to the catering workers.

“Unite Scotland want to avoid industrial action by negotiating a reasonable deal. So who is it that is being unreasonable here? It isn’t the union.”

A spokesman for COTA said the organisation was “disappointed” that members of Unite have voted in favour of industrial action.

The spokesman also pointed out that in some COTA member companies, less than 50% of those eligible to vote supported the decision – the legal requirement for action.

He added: “Our objective is to protect COTA employees’ jobs. Throughout the 2016-17 negotiations COTA has maintained open, honest and realistic discussions with the unions and negotiating committee around what the pay deal should be in order to adapt to our changing industry.

“We want to start negotiating next year’s settlement as soon as possible.”


 

Offshore Catering

If you are employed by an offshore COTA  company and not yet a member of the trade Union Join today!

If you are an employee with Aramark, Compass and Trinity, grades A-E  working offshore  join Unite the union Now!  and fight to protect your pay and terms and conditions

 

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Norway fatal crash helicopter type cleared to fly

Super Puma 225 helicopters, which were grounded after a fatal crash in Norway, are to fly over the North Sea again.
EXPH-0712-32

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Norwegian authorities have allowed flights to resume if operators meet new safety conditions.
A crash involving the helicopter off the coast of Norway killed 13 people, including Iain Stewart from Aberdeenshire, in April 2016.

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The Unite Union has expressed concern about the decision.
CAA head of airworthiness John McColl said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. It has only been made after receiving extensive information from the Norwegian accident investigators and being satisfied with the subsequent changes introduced by Airbus Helicopters through detailed assessment and analysis.
“The safety of those who travel on offshore helicopter flights is a key priority for both the UK and Norwegian aviation authorities.
“We would not have made this decision unless we were convinced that the changes to the helicopters and their maintenance restore the required airworthiness standards.”
The CAA said that helicopters would not begin flying immediately. A plan of checks, modifications and inspections will be undertaken before any flights take place.
These include:

  • Change in the design by removal of the components that were susceptible to premature deterioration
  • Earlier replacement of component
  • Design change to introduce an improved maintenance inspection method to detect any deterioration at an early stage
  • More frequent inspections
  • Reduction in the thresholds for rejecting components based upon early signs of any deterioration

Mr McColl added: “We continue to work with the helicopter operators, the offshore industries, international regulators, unions and pilot representatives to enhance offshore safety standards still further and all these parties are actively involved in ongoing discussions.”
The Unite Union has expressed concern at the decision, saying its members were “very nervous” about flying in the helicopter.

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The union’s regional organiser in Aberdeen, Tommy Campbell, said Unite was still waiting to see a full analysis of the April 2016 accident and its causes.
“The offshore work force have been surveyed, they’ve been surveyed by the unions, they’ve been surveyed by magazines in the industry and there is a lack of confidence,” he told the BBC.
“There’s a significant issue and it’s very understandable. Offshore workers – or any workers – want to go to their work and come back home safely and there’s been far, far too many deaths now as a result of helicopter accidents.”

THREE OPERATORS - Les Linklater 10
Les Linklater, executive director of the offshore industry safety group, Step Change in Safety, said: “At this time, there is an ongoing Airbus survey for pilots and passengers regarding these specific helicopters’ flight safety and comfort, which was issued just one week ago. It’s our understanding that this survey still has a further three weeks to run.
“Given the importance of the workforce’s opinion regarding this highly emotive subject, we do not feel it’s appropriate to make any further comment until Airbus has gathered, and shared, the survey’s results and can demonstrate how they intend to address any concerns raised by the workforce.
“We would encourage all members of the workforce to participate and have their voices heard.”
BBC NEWS

July 9th, 2017
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Unite raises serious safety concerns after ban on Airbus Superpuma is lifted

 

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Scotland’s biggest union, Unite, has set up a petition to stop all commercial flights of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters in order to provide reassurance to offshore workers that their safety is paramount. This comes after the CAA announced plans to lift the ban last month.

Unite and other offshore unions continue to demand the highest possible safety regulations and training when it comes to helicopter journeys involving offshore workers and this decision jeopardises this.

Unite regional officer, Tommy Campbell said: “Our members are telling us that they have no confidence in the safety of these airframes and neither do their families. Offshore workers deserve to return back home safe to loved ones from working in the North Sea.

“We need not only the usual assurances from the Oil and Gas UK operators, we need them to demonstrate that safety comes first and that they will not support the reintroduction of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters.

“Until a full investigation is complete and the results are known there should be no ‘Business as Usual’ return to commercial operations in the UKCS involving these airframes.”

Transporting offshore workers to and from oil and gas installations should be a safe and routine practice. However, Unite is claiming that a significant number of offshore workers and union members have expressed the view that the root cause of the gearbox problem that caused the crash in April 2016 remains unknown and as long as it does they demand the airframes should remain grounded.

Unite will continue to work with all stakeholders in the UKCS  who have a responsibility for health and safety in the Oil and Gas sector to ensure the highest safety standards are upheld and that commercial pressure and profit will not come before workers’ safety.

 

For further information contact: Tommy Campbell 07810157920

Sign the petition and shareshare on faceboook twitter

 

back-home-safe-unite-150x150


 

 


North Sea employers have made a revised pay offer to disgruntled workers.

https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/147900/union-members-urged-accept-new-north-sea-pay-deal/

North Sea employers have made a revised pay offer to disgruntled workers.

The Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), whose members include Petrofac, Wood Group PSN and Stork, has been in lengthy negotiations with unions over a pay dispute.

The OCA came up with an offer to increase pay by 2%, but it was rejected by workers.

Recent meetings were called after a series ballots failed to provide a legal mandate for strike action.

The unions said a majority of workers had backed a walkout, but legal requirements for staging a strike were not satisfied.

At least 50% of eligible members must vote in favour of industrial action for a strike to go ahead.

The OCA has now put a new offer on the table which includes the “% increase as well as a £450 lump sum for certain employees.

 

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Officials representing the GMB, Unite and RMT unions have recommended that their members accept the revised offer.

Tommy Campbell on behalf of the Trade Unions GMB, UNITE and RMT saidcika314wkaapyvf:

“All the Trade Unions have worked hard to deliver the best deal for our Union members.

“We are therefore recommending that they vote Yes to this new OCA offer.

reccomendvote yes

 

“We continue to approach our negotiations in the best interests of offshore workers in the Oil and Gas industry.

“The trade unions are committed to doing all we can to support maximum economic recovery so as to protect jobs and create future employment opportunities for those who lost their jobs in the past few years.”

Paul Atkinson, OCA chief executive added: “Constructive and positive negotiations with the unions have resulted in the joint development of this new offer, which we believe to be in the best interests of everyone involved.”

A consultative ballot is now underway with the unions offshore membership on the new OCA offer.

Officials from union and the OCA, which represents nine companies, including Amec Foster Wheeler, Petrofac and Wood Group PSN, have met numerous times to try to resolve the situation.

Unions have argued for better terms workers, including a wage increase, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time.

Unite are currently  balloting their members on the offer


 

TRADE UNIONS CONSULTATIVE BALLOT (Unite, GMB and RMT)  

As you are aware, the Offshore Contractors’ Association (OCA), its member companies and the trade unions, have been in continuous dialogue with a focus on reaching a resolution on the current Trade Dispute.

A revised offer has been jointly developed through positive and constructive discussions, and we are pleased to let you know that the unions have made a strong recommendation to their members to accept the revised offer.

What does the new offer look like? 

Lump sum payment  

An all-inclusive lump sum payment of £450 per person, will be paid to those employed in Offshore Contractor Partnership Agreement (OCPA) positions during the period 7th January 2017 to 31st March 2017. The lump sum will be calculated on the basis of £37.50 per week employed.

2017/2018 

A 2% increase will be applied to the base rate across all Offshore Contractor Partnership Agreement (OCPA) positions with effect from 1st April 2017.  Elements linked to the base rate, including sick pay, will also increase by 2%.

Both parties recognised that in certain circumstances where employees receive packages above the OCA there may already be equivalent enhancements.

What happens next? 

The trade unions have advised that they will carry out a consultative ballot of their members on the revised offer, with a recommendation it is accepted. We would encourage all Union members to vote during the ballot so your voice can be heard.

What are the future plans for the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement (OCPA)? 

The OCA, its member companies, and the trade unions remain committed to working together to review and reset the existing OCPA, with a joint focus on protecting the long-term interests of the industry, and employment opportunities within it.

 

For more information contact your Union rep or contact the  Aberdeen Unite office  on 01224 645 271   or e mail aberdeenstaff@unitetheunion.org

offer is also on the unite offshore  webpage  http://ocapayballot2017.weebly.com/


 

 

 

Unite raises serious safety concerns after ban on Airbus Superpuma is lifted

1604455_553072624853627_2823479078712279326_n-super-puma-ec225lp-and-as332l2airframes

Unite raises serious safety concerns after ban on Airbus Superpuma is lifted

15 August 2017

Scotland’s biggest union, Unite, has set up a petition to stop all commercial flights of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters in order to provide reassurance to offshore workers that their safety is paramount. This comes after the CAA announced plans to lift the ban last month.

Unite and other offshore unions continue to demand the highest possible safety regulations and training when it comes to helicopter journeys involving offshore workers and this decision jeopardises this.

Unite regional officer, Tommy Campbell said: “Our members are telling us that they have no confidence in the safety of these airframes and neither do their families. Offshore workers deserve to return back home safe to loved ones from working in the North Sea.

“We need not only the usual assurances from the Oil and Gas UK operators, we need them to demonstrate that safety comes first and that they will not support the reintroduction of the Superpuma H225LP and AS332 L2 helicopters.

“Until a full investigation is complete and the results are known there should be no ‘Business as Usual’ return to commercial operations in the UKCS involving these airframes.”

Transporting offshore workers to and from oil and gas installations should be a safe and routine practice. However, Unite is claiming that a significant number of offshore workers and union members have expressed the view that the root cause of the gearbox problem that caused the crash in April 2016 remains unknown and as long as it does they demand the airframes should remain grounded.

Unite will continue to work with all stakeholders in the UKCS  who have a responsibility for health and safety in the Oil and Gas sector to ensure the highest safety standards are upheld and that commercial pressure and profit will not come before workers’ safety.

ENDS

For further information contact: Tommy Campbell 07810157920

Notes to Editors


Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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Unite is the largest trade union  for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

 


back-home-safe-unite-150x150

Oil platform improvement notices issued over gas detection equipment

LomondImage copyrightSHELL/BG

An oil company failed to install gas detection equipment first recommended 14 years ago, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.

The HSE said BG – which is owned by Shell – could not demonstrate the adequacy of fire and gas detection systems aboard the Lomond gas platform.

It is 145 miles east of Aberdeen.

The HSE has issued two improvement notices. It said the company had given no adequate justification for the omission of fixed point gas detectors.

A Shell spokesperson said: “Shell UK can confirm that we have been issued with two HSE improvement notices in relation to maintenance / testing procedures and the fire and gas detection system within a small number of process modules at our Lomond installation in the Central North Sea.

“We are currently working to address the requirements of these improvement notices.”

The platform is currently shut down for what was described as planned maintenance.

Earlier this month it was revealed Shell had been issued with a prohibition notice by health and safety inspectors over a gas leak on its Brent Charlie platform.

The installation, 115 miles north-east of Shetland, was shut down following the escape in May, and more than 30 workers were taken off.

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/offshore/law.htm

 

Unite the Union, welcomes the HSE inspections and more inspections should take place especially after it has come to light recommendations had not been followed.   However, it’s  the UK  Conservative Governments ongoing cuts and ideological choice on the austerity agenda which this attack on jobs and terms and conditions is a direct threat and with a significant drop in the number of inspections both offshore and onshore.

Cuts to staff and resource in the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) this puts offshore Oil & Gas sector workers at a higher risk as there are fewer inspections taking place in this high-risk hazard sector.

 

http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-reveal-shock-25-per-cent-cut-in-health-and-safety-inspectors/

 

http://www.hazards.org/safetypimp/buyme.htm


join unite 2

Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/