Hial airport staff offered deal to end strikes

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A NEW deal is to be offered to striking security staff at regional airports across the Highlands and Islands in a bid to prevent further industrial action.

Around 120 workers staged a 48-hour walkout last week and union bosses warned further action was inevitable unless Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) came up with a written offer by the end of this week.

Inglis Lyon, managing director of HIAL, said: “We will submit a formal offer to the union this week which we hope will provide the basis for a meaningful, constructive dialogue.

“It has always been the intention of the company to address the concerns of security staff, but it is impossible to do so under the threat of industrial action.

“Given that the 48 hour strike has now passed, without causing major disruption for passengers, we are now in a position to resume discussion.

“It is important that we resolve this issue as quickly as possible. The threat of further industrial action is in no one’s interests, particularly as we approach the busy summer season. We hope the union will set aside talk of further strike action and work with us to reach agreement.”

Prospect union members employed by Hial subsidiary, Airport Management Services (AMS), are seeking a five per cent increase in basic pay.

They also want to deal to bring them in line with other Hial staff on overtime, weekend working and sick pay.

The airport management claim this would equate to an increase of almost 30%, which they have previously stated was unacceptable.

Prospect national secretary Alan Denney welcomed news of the new offer from the Scottish Government-owned company.

He said: “We look forward to receiving a written offer and entering into a constructive dialogue with Hial on the basis of this.

“We hope this will lead to a swift resolution of our dispute.”

Hial operates airports in Inverness, Dundee, Campbeltown, Islay, Tiree, Barra, Benbecula, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Kirkwall and Wick.