Scotia industrial action?
Aberdeen Press and Journal. 10 June 2000
Copter dispute hots up
A dispute simmering between employees of Aberdeen's Scotia Helicopter Services and management at the company may boil over into industrial action.
At the heart of the wrangle are management proposals concerning the harmonisation of pay and conditions for 700 staff after the merger of British International Helicopters and Bond Helicopters.
Backed by the MSF unions, employees at Scotia have unanimously rejected terms from the company so far.
Gordon Casey, MSF's regional officer, said yesterday the row had taken a new twist after management issued letters to all the workforce outlining the harmonisation pro- posals.
The letters asked workers to vote for or against the offer and to sign and date their replies, which have to be returned by June 14.
He said: "It is undemocratic and intimidating to ask the workforce if they are in favour of the terms put forward and to be asking at the same time for a signed and dated statement indicating your position.
"It is conducting a ballot. Any such ballot should be conducted secretly.
"The company says it will appoint an independent scrutineer but that is really irrelevant when it appears they could be compiling a list of who votes with them or against."
Scotia has a workforce of around 700 of which 350 are union members.
"The former Bond Helicopters workers are those mainly concerned with the ballot request," said Mr Casey.
"Prior to the merger there was no trade union representation within Bond.
"MSF is advising its members not to take part in this ballot and to put the papers received in the bin."
No one was available for comment at Scotia Helicopter Services.