21st May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Helicopter protest called off but rally will be attended by families of off-shore incidents

A planned protest at the Aberdeen headquarters of Super Puma operators CHC has been suspended.

Instead a rally will be staged at RMT’s Aberdeen headquarters tomorrow which will be attended by family-members of off-shore safety failures. 

Union members concerned about safety in the wake of Friday’s helicopter crash off Sumburgh had organised a protest at CHC’s offices.

They planned to call for an immediate lifting of the ban on union access to offshore crew – a measure described as an “employer orchestrated ban” which, the RMT said, compromised safety by denying staff basic rights to organise collectively.

However the protest was suspended after agreement was reached during talks with the employers.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “Following talks with the employers we have secured a massive breakthrough on our core demand of workplace access which will enable us to build an organisation that can fight for real collective improvements to offshore working conditions, including on the central issue of safety.

“Tomorrow, at 11am, we will rally at our new Aberdeen HQ to start that fight for a new and safer future for the whole industry.”

Meanwhile Total has expressed its condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the crash.

The helicopter was chartered by the French oil giant and one of the 16 passengers was a Total employee, although the others were working from contracted organisations, as is normal practice within the oil and gas sector.

Total said: “Our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies go to the families of the four people who tragically lost their lives in this accident and our thoughts are also with everyone who was involved or has been affected by it.

“Total’s focus now is on offering all the support and assistance we possibly can to those who were on the flight or have been touched by the tragedy, and on helping the authorities to determine exactly what has caused it.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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