Union alarm over outsourcing of Glasgow Airport fire and security jobs

The transfer will move 300 security and fire staff to external companies. Picture: John Devlin
The transfer will move 300 security and fire staff to external companies. Picture: John Devlin
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Concerns over the future pay and benefits of security and fire staff at two of Scotland’s major airports have been raised by unions.

It follows the decision of AGS Airports, which owns both Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, to begin a consultation to transfer at least 300 staff to external companies – something Unite the Union believes could risk the quality of service.

AGS said no jobs would be lost but admitted they were under pressure to lower costs. Glasgow Airport lost 200,000 passengers in 2018 and is not expected to return to growth until 2020 at the earliest.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite’s regional industrial officer, said the union had “trepidation” about the impact of the outsourcing the jobs to security company ICTS (UK)and fire safety firm Falck with potential impact on pensions alongside future cuts to pay and bonuses.

He said: “We see this as an attempt at cost-cutting and a race to the bottom in regards to the terms and conditions for our members and real concern about the standards our members currently apply being applied by their new employers.

“The security at Glasgow Airport is amongst the highest standards and we are looking for that to be maintained. We as a union are not looking to facilitate a race to the bottom in terms of quality and rates.”

A spokesperson for AGS Airports said: “We have entered into consultation with staff and their trade union representatives regarding the outsourcing of the security and fire service departments at both Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

“There will be no job losses as a result of this and current employees will transfer across under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) to the new suppliers.

“We’re operating in an extremely challenging marketplace and are coming under increasing pressure to deliver a lower cost base whilst maintaining high levels of service and
security.

“If we are to return to growth then it’s important we have a sustainable business model in place and outsourcing will help us achieve that.”

A spokesperson for ICTS said: “Glasgow Airport and ICTS are working together to ensure there is a seamless transition.

“It will be a case of business as usual, as the same staff will be carrying out the same high levels of security and service. We’re looking forward to welcoming the experienced staff on board.”