Reduced operations forced us to cut workforce- Bristow Helicopters

The management of Bristow Helicopters has described the shutting down of its operations by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) as illegal, saying the union’s action came when the matter is currently the subject of a mediation led by the Federal Ministry of Labour between NAAPE and Bristow.
NAAPE had today called on its members within Bristow to embark on an industrial action at Lagos, Port Harcourt and Eket. The action relates to a dispute between Bristow and NAAPE about the release of national pilots and engineers previously employed by Bristow.
Explaining why it laid off indigenous pilots and engineers hitherto hired by the company, the firm said NAAPE’s came at a time when the global oil and gas industry is facing severe challenges and the Nigerian economy is undergoing serious disruptions with a number of clients reducing aviation logistics support services in the country.
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It further stated that as a result of, “our clients’ reduced operations and demand for aviation services, Bristow has reduced the number of its workforce.”
Bristow has also reduced the number of its expatriate pilots and engineers in Nigeria. They have also reached an amicable agreement with the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) representing their junior and senior staff.
The carrier hinted that over the downturn in the industry (12-18months), Bristow has released 118 expatriates (pilots and engineers) and 21 Nigerian nationals (pilots and engineers). Bristow has held several meetings with NAAPE and the Ministry of Labour to reach an agreement on the subject matter of the mediation, and proposals have been put to NAAPE for their consideration.
According to the management, “Our focus remains on providing a safe and efficient service in Nigeria and we are committed to continuing open discussions with all stakeholders to reach an agreement through productive dialogue and feedback.”
Wole Shadare