Airport workers across the Highlands and Islands have confirmed that they will take strike action over the festive period amid a dispute over pay.
Members of Unite the union across 11 airports under the HIAL (Highlands and Islands Airports Limited) including those working in fire and rescue, security and administration have confirmed that they will walk out on December 19 and December 22.
Union members voted by 73.5% in favour of taking strike action and by 92.8% in favour of taking action short of strike in a bid to improve pay for rural communities amid a cost of living crisis.
The union has previously warned that strike action will cause huge disruption over the winter break and festive period.
The workforce has already rejected a 5% offer which they deemed unacceptable with inflation soaring to hit a 40 year high of 14.2%.
The 11 airports across the HIAL Group are Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick.
Shauna Wright, Unite industrial officer said: “Unite does not accept that HIAL, a private limited company wholly-owned by the Scottish Government, does not have the ability to increase the offer.
“Claims previously made that it is bound by funding obligations set by the Scottish Government, will not placate our members or settle this dispute.
“Unite is therefore calling on the Scottish Government as a matter of urgency to meet with us, the workers and HIAL and to put forward additional funding that will improve pay, terms and conditions in the Highlands and Islands and bring an end to this dispute.”
Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s managing director said: “We apologise in advance for the inevitable disruption this action by Unite colleagues will cause for our airlines and passengers.
“Whilst recognising the financial challenges our colleagues face, we are disheartened that they will be taking strike action which will greatly inconvenience our passengers and local communities so close to the festive holiday period.
“We will liaise closely with our local teams, airlines, and partners to determine what can be done to minimise the disruption on both days. Meantime, all communication channels remain open in a bid to avoid this strike action. However, I would urge anyone intending to travel on these dates to keep in touch with their airline.”
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