Unite union rejects lifting of helicopter suspension

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty insisted the Super Puma fleet of helicopters must remain grounded while workers' confidence remained "shattered":

The continued grounding of the L2 fleet - the same type involved in last Friday's crash resulting in four fatalities and also in the April 2009 crash with 16 fatalities - is the bare minimum that the industry can do until the recovered black box's data fully establishes why this tragedy occurred.

The decision of the Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) to return the Super Puma L type, L1 type and the EC225 type, as per its original service plan, to UK offshore operations should be approached with caution and sensitivity.

Confidence has been shattered and the industry needs to provide substantive evidence - not opinion - to its workers demonstrating the airworthiness of the helicopters that are now returning to operations.

At the same time, Unite is demanding guarantees from employers that workers who feel unable to fly will not be subject to pressure or the threat of dismissal.

The industry cannot merely expect the workforce to simply get their boots on and get back to work.

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