Glasgow Airport staff to strike

2 April 2019, 15:33

Glasgow Airport

Hundreds of staff at Glasgow Airport will go on strike over pay and pensions after an overwhelming majority backed industrial action.

A recent ballot found 95% of Unite the union members - on a turnout of 75% - voted to walk out after the airport decided to close the final salary pension scheme.

It comes amid a 60-day consultation launched in January on the closure, which would break an Advisory, Conciliation and Arbritration Service (Acas) agreement made in 2016.

The latest pay offer of 1.8% has also been described by Unite, which represents around 500 workers at Glasgow Airport, as a "real-terms pay cut".

Members are expected to walk out between mid-April and mid-October - with an overtime ban also scheduled during the same period.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "The overwhelming support for industrial action on a very high turnout shows the strength of feeling by hundreds of Unite members at Glasgow Airport.

"The workforce has been treated with disregard, contempt and disrespect. The paltry pay offer on the table is an insult while the boardroom enjoys pre-tax profits of £91 million.

"If this wasn't bad enough, there is a proposal to close the final salary pension scheme at Glasgow Airport, which breaks existing agreements we have with the company."

He added: "So, while talks with Acas are scheduled over the coming weeks, I'm not confident at all that Glasgow Airport management has the awareness and sense to bring this dispute to a positive resolution.

"Glasgow Airport and the AGS Board have been well warned of the consequences of the attack on Unite members' pay and pensions.

"Industrial action is now set for the spring & summer period, and the public should know that Glasgow Airport is exclusively to blame for this situation."

Unite also said the airport has "admitted" it remains on target to increase profits by 6% this year, after posting a £74 million post-tax profit in 2017.

A spokesman for Glasgow Airport, which is owned and operated by AGS Airports, said it was "extremely disappointed at the decision".

"We have made a pay offer that is entirely fair and reasonable against a backdrop of declining passenger numbers," he said.

"The consultation on proposals to close our final salary (defined benefit) pension scheme is still ongoing, however, with employer contributions anticipated to rise significantly above the current level of 19.8% it is simply no longer affordable or sustainable.

"To suggest we have broken any agreements with Unite in regards to the company's pension arrangements is simply incorrect."

He added: "We are committed to continuing negotiations with the trade unions and have sought the intervention of the conciliation service Acas in attempt to achieve a sensible and sustainable outcome.

"In the event of strike action, we will implement our contingency plans to avoid any disruption for our airlines and passengers."