Further strike action planned at 10 Highlands and islands airports
Airports in the Highlands and islands face additional strikes after a second union announced members plan to walk out in a pay dispute.
Prospect said firefighters and security staff will walk out of 10 Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) airports in March.
The announcement comes as Unite workers are currently on the final day of a three-day strike at 10 airports in the group.
The new strikes will take place at various airports over five days and will be followed by firefighters implementing action short of a strike from March 17, including an overtime ban and working to rosters.
Prospect members rejected a 5% pay offer in October and the union claims that since then no “substantive progress” has been made by Hial or its owners the Scottish Government to resolve the dispute.
Prospect Union has now served notice of industrial action by fire service and security staff which may result in airport closures. There will also be action short of a strike.
Find out more about actions, locations and dates on our website: https://t.co/vxO30ytBWS pic.twitter.com/B2GN0rXgOI
— Highlands & Islands Airports (@Hial_Airports) February 23, 2023
The newly announced strikes will take place at Stornoway and Sumburgh airports on March 8 and 9; at Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Kirkwall and Wick airports on March 10; at Dundee, Inverness and Islay on March 13, and at Dundee and Inverness on March 17.
Jane Rose, Prospect negotiation officer, said: “Our members in fire and security ensure airports across the Highlands and islands operate safely and securely for the communities and businesses that they serve. They do not deserve the substantial real-terms pay cut that is currently on offer.
“Members have resisted taking action for many months in the hope of avoiding disruption to their communities. However, we are in the worst cost-of-living crisis in 40 years and both Hial and Scottish Government have completely failed to try and deliver a pay increase that properly addresses that. As such we have no option but to take this action.
“We are calling on Scottish Government to meet urgently with us and Hial management to fund an improved pay offer and avoid causing further impact on the remote and rural communities of Scotland.”
🚨 Strike dates announced as firefighters and security staff at Highlands and Islands Airports are to take action over pay.https://t.co/8tcPqLXSDL
— Prospect Union (@ProspectUnion) February 23, 2023
Managing director Inglis Lyon said: “We met with Prospect, Unite and PCS union representatives last Thursday, February 16, and presented an enhanced proposal which comprised a tiered one-off, non-consolidated payment on top of the percentage increase we offered before Christmas.
“The three trade unions carefully considered the proposal, but unfortunately notified us that the proposal will not be sufficient to resolve the dispute.
“We are disappointed that our proposal fell short of the unions’ expectations and apologise for the disruption this industrial action will cause for our customers and airlines.”
He said the firm remains “committed” to resolving the dispute and has asked to meet with the unions next week.
The Unite strikes in the past fortnight have affected Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Tiree airports.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We absolutely respect the democratic right of union members to take industrial action – though it is disappointing that passengers face the prospect of further disruption.
“We encourage Hial and unions to continue to engage in positive dialogue in order to resolve this dispute.”