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Isles MP Angus MacNeil has backed Bristow staff in their industrial dispute over pay and changes to terms and conditions.

A total of 360 staff - pilots, co-pilots, winch operators and winch paramedics - have gone on strike due to the derisory pay offer from Bristow management.

Signalling his support for the industrial action, the Isles MP said he had been “quite appalled” to learn that air-sea rescue staff have seen a 25% real terms pay cut over the last few years.

“Initially, they were offered a derisory 3% pay rise from Bristow bosses; this offer was slightly increased but on the condition of removing all other employment protections, which was clearly a non-starter as they would, in reality, be funding their own pay rise,” stated MacNeil.

“Bristow staff working on the helicopters are a highly motivated group of people and they see search and rescue as a vocation. To expect them to come to work for less and less pay, year on year, is just cynical exploitation from management of their dedication to their work in the communities they serve.”

He continued that Bristow management’s manoeuvring had caused “real upset” and that the pay offer was poor for a skilled and dangerous job.

Added the MP: “I am quite incensed also to understand that the profits of Bristow are rising year on year. Like many companies engulfed in management greed, chief executives are getting a 20% pay rise with no conditions attached. Corporate greed has gone too far at Bristow. 

“The brave crews in the helicopters ultimately make money for these companies. Understandably, 98% of the crew affected voted, with 97% in favour of strike action. These are reasonable people doing reasonable jobs being treated badly by an unfair, greedy management.”