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Bristow North Sea

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Bristow North Sea

Old 14th Aug 1999, 14:05
  #21 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

My sympathy lies with all who have given much over the years to this company, only to be slapped in the face. Company loyalty – what’s that???

The fat cat board members have lined their own pockets over the years by selling the company on, taking a pay-off and retiring, only to have another chief executive come along and do the same thing. Eventually, you kill off the golden goose. If they had put more effort into chasing contracts, and not into swelling their own bank accounts, the company would still have a future.

This company has gone through 5 batches of redundancy, 1983 – remember that one, the Laurence Bristow special – 1992, 1995, 1997 and 1999. We never saw the writing on the wall and were naïve enough to think it wouldn’t happen to us.

If I were a young captain, sfo or fo in this company, I would be seeking alternate employment right now. Repay this company the same way it has repaid the outgoing senior captains
Old 15th Aug 1999, 14:26
  #22 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Recent - and not so recent - events at Bristow have highlighted the North Sea helicopter companies ability to run roughshod over their workforce; to hire and fire at will, change rosters at short notice, impose restrictions on our private lives, the list goes on.
So what can we do about it? Join Balpa? Many North Sea pilots already have, many have not. One thing is certain, we as pilots, must have input with regard to employment terms and conditions. Balpa may be the only medium that will give us that opportunity. Whether you agree with unionisation or not, it may be the only way forward.
Something must be done; it may not be to late.
Old 16th Aug 1999, 01:05
  #23 (permalink)  
tail rotor drift
Posts: n/a

The pay and conditions will never improve while those reaching their retirement age are virtualy begging the companies for work at low rates and poor conditions. They are undermining us all.
Old 16th Aug 1999, 02:41
  #24 (permalink)  
Captain Catastrophy
Posts: n/a

I am very sorry to hear of the imminent redundancy of our Balpa rep who has put in a lot of time and effort - often thankless - on our behalf over the years. I wuold like to say Thank you on behalf of us all.
My worry is who is going to pick up the baton - the BHL management are well aware that having laid off 90% of the people who are prepared to argue our cause very few will be willing to do so as they wish to protect their careers. I hope that we will now stand up and be counted en-masse instead of hiding behind one or two individuals. Gentlemen, our future depends on it.
Old 16th Aug 1999, 03:03
  #25 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

All is not lost!
Oil companies are seriously considering my bid for single pilot operations to North Sea offshore platforms.
Candidates who are current on R-4s, Skeeters,
Widgeons, and S-55s (piston version), should
send resumes to this page.
Passengers will just adore you when they know what's going on!
Old 17th Aug 1999, 02:44
  #26 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Sorry to hear things are so bad for all you Bristows guys. No one likes to read about so many redundancies, and I`m sure theres no easy answer to this one. I`m in no position to offer advice I`m afraid, as I now live and work in Canada...Best of luck...MaxNr
Old 20th Aug 1999, 22:54
  #27 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Unhappy Bristow SNS

Any news on how proposed redundancies are to affect Southern North Sea?
Old 21st Aug 1999, 10:33
  #28 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a


Your turn is coming in September or October.

Good Luck.
Old 2nd Jan 2000, 23:48
  #29 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Arrow Bristow Lay offs

The rumour has it that there is a January review for a April lay off. anyone heard anything? I presume this means all the new HP cadets will be starting to worry or will they as they can be released out of there bonds and go fixed wing if they choose.
Old 3rd Jan 2000, 04:20
  #30 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Interesting rumour.... what's it based on? Is Bristow now still grossly overmanned following it's recent cuts? I can't see it myself. From where I'm looking there is definately no room for further cuts.

Maybe they'll start at the bottom this time and we'll have a company of 35 year olds....till they go fixed wing.

Old 3rd Jan 2000, 19:06
  #31 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Thumbs down

Apparantly yes it will be co-pilots as they have anything from 10 to 18 on standby some days which cant be good. Also they have released some people to Scotia helicopters.
Old 3rd Jan 2000, 23:15
  #32 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Is there anyone left to make redundant? Still, at least BALPA can be relied on...like the last time...
Old 22nd Jun 2000, 18:40
  #33 (permalink)  
Cyclic Hotline
Posts: n/a
Arrow Bristow layoffs, Scotia pay dispute?

From the ABZ P&J.
More jobs to go at Bristow
by Steve Sinclair and David Perry

More jobs are to be lost at Bristow Helicopters after the company announced a major review of resources and staffing yesterday.

Bristow management has refused to disclose how many may face the axe in Aberdeen and Shetland, saying it is too soon to know. The figure could be about 100, as the company's trade has slumped heavily over the past year.

The news came as a shock to many. It is only 10 months since the company shed 99 workers.

Some 500 workers split between Aberdeen and Scatsta, in Shetland, are under threat. Some were informed last week of the latest consultation process which, the company says, is the result of current estimates of future demand for helicopter services.

Ten months ago, Bristow predicted a 35% decrease in North Sea activity.

The likelihood of further job losses comes hard on the heels of a series of major disappointing announcements which have affected Scotland, ranging from retail-clothing giant C&A – 48 jobs lost locally and 4,800 nationally – to major UK employer British Aerospace (losing 3,500) and Blue Circle (losing 350).

The Manufacturing, Science and Finance union regional officer, Gordon Casey, said he was aware that the company was going to be doing the review and was confident the union would work with the company.

He said: "We have a partnership agreement with Bristow and will be working through that to mitigate any impact and hopefully ensure that any redundancies are voluntary."

Staff at Bristow said they were completely in the dark regarding areas under review but added that the official consultation was not to begin until next month.

Bristow chief executive Keith Chanter said: "We will do all we can to minimise job losses, but there will inevitably be some."

Aberdeen Central Labour MP Frank Doran urged the North Sea oil industry to be more sensitive to the needs of the helicopter industry because of safety issues.

"If these are engineering jobs that affect the safety factor, I would be very concerned."

Mr Doran said helicopter firms faced the same squeeze as other offshore contractors imposed by the industry when the price of crude collapsed and complained that the squeeze has not yet been lifted despite the soaring price of oil.

"What is happening is a sad result of the way in which the oil industry is run because companies like this have virtually no negotiating power and have to accept the rules laid down by the big oil giants."

A ballot conducted by management at Scotia Helicopters has done little to resolve a grievance between the company and its 700 employees.

A merger some time ago between former rivals British International Helicopters and Bond has left sections of the workforce with large differences in rates of pay.
Earlier this month, staff unanimously rejected management plans on the harmonisation of wages. The dispute took a fresh turn ten days ago when management wrote to all employees outlining its harmonisation proposals and asked workers to vote for or against its offer.

Replies were to be signed, dated and returned by June 14.

Backed by the MSF union, the workers were urged to bin the company's ballot papers and reject the offer.

MSF's Gordon Casey said the company ballot had gone ahead and had achieved a 40% return.

"The company say this means four out of five voted to accept the company's proposals. That means 112 people voted Yes and 25 voted No.

"It also means 209 of the workforce did not vote at all – 60% have taken no part in the ballot.

"They are saying this is an overwhelming endorsement of their proposals.

"Obviously our view is different, when 60% follow our advice and take no part."

He added that representatives in the joint trade union committee at the company have been collecting letters from workers who wish to let the company know they don't accept its proposals.

Mr Casey added: "At the moment, they have 163 people in Aberdeen who are against the plan. What we need to see now is whether the company will pay any heed to the letters from these individuals."

A spokesman for Scotia Helicopters said the ballot was an overwhelming Yes vote for the company's proposals, adding: "So far, there has been no further representation from the unions. The ball is in their court."
Old 23rd Jun 2000, 18:42
  #34 (permalink)  
Taff Missed
Posts: n/a

Bad news indeed. Particularly in the wake of recent events on the NS.

I may be accused of taking a simplistic view here, but why did the MSF 'urge their members to bin the ballot papers' if they were so sure the proposal would be voted against anyway? Surely it would have been a better idea to tell their members to vote against it and send a positive message to t'management.

Just discarding a ballot paper i.e. not using your vote, seems a bit silly in these circumstances and smacks of old union c.1970's. It also makes the ballot exercise a complete waste of time and money.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

[This message has been edited by Taff Missed (edited 23 June 2000).]
Old 27th Jun 2000, 13:42
  #35 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Such a great shame for the unfortunate employees. Bristows had (hopefully still does)a wealth of experienced professionals. Unfortunately they have been shafted over the years by a totally useless management team (I use the word loosely) who buried their heads in the sand. Their total ineptitude has unfortunately yet again been dumped on their staff. I bet the directors still have all their flash cars at the concrete carrier.
Old 2nd Jul 2000, 12:34
  #36 (permalink)  
Special 25
Posts: n/a

Don't blame it all on the management - Unless you are refering to their inability to stand up to the Americans.

An oil worker friend of mine was in the States recently and gave me the 'low-down' on their operation. After walking across Louisiana swamp to get to a run down shed (Departure Lounge) he was at least slightly impressed to get a safetly video on the S-61. The pilot then walked in (Veitnam Vet in mechanics overalls) and ushered them out to a Bell 412 and off they went !

Maybe if we adopt these sort of safetly protocols over here, we could save the level of money CHC and OLOG are looking for ???
Old 5th Jul 2000, 01:47
  #37 (permalink)  
Cyclic Hotline
Posts: n/a

ABZ P&J. 4 July 2000
Bristow reshape puts 80 jobs at risk

by Leslie Kraft-Burke
Bristow Helicopters confirmed yesterday that up to 80 jobs will be lost in Aberdeen and Shetland as a result of the company's restructuring.

A company spokesman was not certain how many staff would be made redundant until the end of the month-long review process, but he said as many redundancies as possible would be voluntary.

Scottish National Party MSPs in the North-east are concerned at possible further job losses and safety issues if BP Amoco goes ahead with plans to replace stand-by vessels with helicopters.

Bristow revealed yesterday that, in addition to the staff reduction, it intended to trim its fleet of helicopters from 17 to 12. The company maintains that will not result in a reduction of aircrew.

A Manufacturing, Science and Finance union spokesman said that could change by the end of the group's review process.

Bristow told union officials and staff that it anticipated making a substantial loss on its operations next year. It emphasised that urgent remedial action was required.

Del Tarn, employees' convener for the MSF union, said of the planned job losses: "We are disappointed at the numbers and will be trying hard to reduce them."

Bristow has 500 workers split between Aberdeen (445) and Scatsta in Shetland (55).

The staffing cuts will be in the firm's engineering, passenger logistics, traffic, baggage, freight, ramp and flight operations departments.

Changes brought about by the restructuring are to be implemented by mid-August.

The firm, which is one of the UK's largest helicopter operators, predicted a 35% decrease in its North Sea activity as it shed 99 workers about 10 months ago.

Bristow also faces legal action from 13 people claiming unfair dismissal from the company. The former workers were laid off from the Aberdeen (operation?).
A company spokesman confirmed that litigation regarding that matter was ongoing.

Three SNP MSPs – Brian Adam, Richard Lochhead and Andrew Welsh – were meeting BP Amoco officials to discuss its proposed offshore safety arrangements.
Mr Adam said the meeting was productive but inconclusive.

"The jury is still out on whether stand-by fleets can be replaced with a helicopter service."

"We did, however, receive a commitment from BP that it would meet with the Emergency Response and Rescue Vessel Association (ERRVA) which, up to now, they have not said they would do."

He added that it did not appear that BP's helicopter plan could yet cope with administering adequately to an immediate incident offshore.

While the ERRVA estimates the BP plan could lay up 129 vessels and put at risk 3,000 jobs, Mr Adam said BP's estimates involved a net reduction of 200 jobs.

He added that that would involve an initial reduction of 400 to 500 jobs, but the creation of about 200 positions.

Mr Adam said that BP was to answer some of the MSPs' questions in writing.

Aberdeen Central Labour MP Frank Doran is calling a meeting of safety vessel owners to hear their reaction to BP Amoco's proposals for the helicopter-based service.

He said last night he hoped other city MPs would join him for the meeting on Friday week in Aberdeen and made it clear that, although he wants BP Amoco's case heard, he is backing neither side.

Mr Doran said: "I want to hear from the individual companies how they are going to be affected and encourage a dialogue with them.

"I am not supporting the vessel owners or BP Amoco – but I do want to see improvements in North Sea safety."

The BP scheme has run into opposition since the oil operator announced plans at the end of May to overhaul its North Sea safety cover.

Since then, the company has been conducting a consultation process with the workforce.

A BP Amoco spokesman said the plan was still in its conceptual stages.

Old 5th Jul 2000, 22:08
  #38 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

I heard today in crewroom gossip that 25 pilots are included in this total, is this correct?
Old 6th Jul 2000, 01:02
  #39 (permalink)  
Cyclic Hotline
Posts: n/a

Quote from OLOG Annual report.
To view the current annual report in it's entirety; http://biz.yahoo.com/e/000629/olog.html

Bristow's operating margin declined from 5.2% in fiscal 1999 to 0.4% in the fiscal 2000. These low margins are due to the reduced utilization and pricing pressures discussed above and the terminated contracts and related restructuring charges of $5.0 million recognized in the second quarter of fiscal year 2000. The restructuring charges were incurred to adjust Bristow's staffing to the current volume of work and entailed a reduction in the North Sea workforce by 19%. Absent these charges, Bristow's operating margin for fiscal 2000 would have been 2.2%. The Company expects to realize at least $7 million in combined annual salary savings from the aforementioned redundancy program. In addition, further cost reductions, including additional employee terminations, renegotiating contracted maintenance services and revisions to employee benefit plans, are being pursued as management works to establish a more cost effective and competitive organization. However, given the significant reduction in North Sea flight activity, it is likely that Bristow's results and operating margins will be adversely affected for sometime absent increased activity in the North Sea market.


Cash flows used in investing activities were $64.4 million, $13.0 million, and $54.2 million for 2000, 1999 and 1998, respectively. During 2000, the Company received proceeds of $10.3 million primarily from thirteen separate disposals of aircraft. During the same period, the Company purchased seven Bell 407's for $9.4 million; four S-61's for $10.9 million, two S-76's for $4.5 million, 5 Bell 412's for $19.8 million and three Super Puma's for $20.4 million. In addition, the Company placed $4.3 million into escrow, included in other assets as of March 31, 2000, for the purchase of three S-76 aircraft. Subsequent to year-end, the Company purchased two Bell 412's for $10 million. The Company has no other material capital commitments outstanding. The majority of these aircraft purchases were made to fulfill customer contract requirements. The three Super Pumas and two S76s referenced above were acquired in anticipation of international expansion. Capital expenditures during 1999 of $19.2 million included one AS332L-Super Puma and three Bell 407's. The Company used existing cash to purchase these aircraft. Deposits on two new AS332L-Super Pumas made during the third quarter of 1999 were refunded to the Company during the fourth quarter of 1999 after the Company decided to lease rather than purchase these aircraft (see Note F in the "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements"). During 1998, the Company acquired five aircraft (including four AS332L-Super Pumas, which had previously been leased by Bristow under short-term operating leases) for $32.3 million. The Company used existing cash and incurred an additional $20.0 million of 7.9% fixed rate financing that amortizes over five years to complete this transaction. In addition to the financed aircraft, the Company used existing cash to purchase 13 Bell 407's, four Sikorsky S-76's and one Bell 214ST in 1998.

Old 6th Jul 2000, 21:23
  #40 (permalink)  
400 Hertz
Posts: n/a
Thumbs down

Bristow Pilots are not in the frame at the moment...watch out for the 18th July.

400 Hertz but DC is easy

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