Contingency plans in place to keep airports open, say HIAL

Strike action is planned from Tuesday April 7th.
Strike action is planned from Tuesday April 7th.

Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) say their airports will be open as normal despite planned strike action from April 7th by some security workers.

Prospect members working in HIAL’s security company AMSL will not strike until after the Easter weekend in order to minimise holiday travel disruption, the union have said but will instead strike for 48 hours from midday on Tuesday April 7th.

Some 87% of members voted in favour of a strike on a turnout of 85%.

The strike is over a dispute over pay and conditions.

Prospect national secretary Alan Denney said: “Our dispute is with HIAL and Scottish ministers, not passengers, so our representatives decided to avoid travel disruption over the Easter weekend.

“Therefore the strike will start at midday on Tuesday 7 April after the Easter rush has passed. This will be followed by a work to contract, including an overtime ban and a ban on rest day working,” said Denney.

The union will be writing to the company giving the required seven days’ notice of action.

HIAL say the union are making ‘unrealistic demands’ for almost 30 per cent pay increase for staff. The dispute stems from the transfer of security staff from a third party contractor to a new HIAL subsidiary company, AMSL, in 2009. Since then HIAL say they have made improvements to pay and conditions including the introduction of a new pension scheme, however they say they are not able to meet the union’s claims.

Both the union and HIAL say they remain open to discussions.

A statement from HIAL said: “Even at this late stage, we hope that industrial action can be averted. However, passengers can be assured that we will work hard to keep any disruption to a minimum and ensure that a near normal service can be provided.”