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Strikes to hit 11 Scottish airports as workers demand pay rise

Barra Airport, which operates beach landings for planes, is among those to be affected by strikes <i>(Image: Jamie Simpson)</i>
Barra Airport, which operates beach landings for planes, is among those to be affected by strikes (Image: Jamie Simpson)

STRIKE action has been announced at 11 Scottish airports over several days in February.

Unite has set new dates for industrial action at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) in a dispute over pay.

The union represents security staff, baggage handlers, ground crew and firefighters at the airports.

Three of HIAL’s airports were closed in December during previous strike days.

Union members have rejected the 5% pay rise they were offered by management.

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On February 17 and 20, strikes will take place at Dundee Airport.

A total of 10 other airports will be affected by strikes on February 21, 22 and 23.

These are the airports in Barra, Benbecula, Campbelltown, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Inflation is at a generational high yet the HIAL group believe a substantial real-terms pay cut is what our hard-working members deserve.

“This is completely unacceptable.

“Strike action is now inevitable at all 11 airports and this is entirely the fault of airport management and the Scottish Government. Unite will fully support our members in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions across the Highlands and Islands.”

Unite industrial officer Shauna Wright said: “Unite believes our hard-working members who keep the airports operating in isolated and rural communities across Scotland deserve far more than what is currently on the table.

“Unite is once again calling on the Scottish Government to meet with us, the workers and HIAL management to fund an improved pay offer, and to deliver more investment in these communities.”

A spokesman for HIAL said: “We are currently liaising closely with our local teams and airlines to determine the impact of this industrial action and the potential disruption for passengers and will post further updates and information on our website and airport social media channels.

“In the meantime, we would advise passengers who intend to travel on these days to keep in touch with their airline.”