Glasgow Airport staff to go on strike during summer holiday peak

Over 70 workers assisting passengers with mobility issues deemed a recent pay offer 'unreasonable'.

Glasgow Airport staff to go on strike during summer holiday peak STV News

Workers at one of Scotland’s busiest airports have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a dispute over a “poverty pay offer”.

Staff employed by the OCS Group at Glasgow Airport to assist passengers with mobility issues branded terms of a pay uplift by the firm “unreasonable” and agreed to walk out for 24 hours twice during the peak summer season.

Unite members rejected a previous pay offer by 96% which would have taken basic rates to £10.90 per hour but are yet to receive another offer from the company.

Around 70 staff will now strike between 4am and 3.59am on July 6 and 7 and a week later on July 11 and 12.

Industrial officer Pat McIlvogue admitted it was “disappointing” members had been driven to walk out, but said OCS had “point blank refused” to make an improved offer.

“Unite has repeatedly asked for meetings with the company to discuss the pay dispute because what’s currently on the table is totally unacceptable to our members,” he said.

“Our members have been left with no choice but to take this step. It will undoubtedly hit the summer schedule at Glasgow Airport and the blame for any disruption will be entirely the company’s.”

Staff’s duties include assisting passengers with wheels chairs and ambilift vehicles for travellers setting off on their holidays.

OCS made a profit of £19.6m after tax for the period ending December 31, 2021, Unite said.

Members voted by 95% in favour of taking strike action on a 91% turnout.

The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite’s OCS members are rightly taking a stand against what we have already described as a poverty pay offer. Unite will always challenge this.

“The emphatic mandate in support of strike action should send a clear message to OCS – it’s time they put an increased offer on the table in new negotiations. Unite will always stand up for our members fighting for better pay, terms and conditions.”

A Glasgow Airport spokesperson said: “Discussions between special assistance service provider OCS and Unite are ongoing.

“We are speaking with OCS to ensure contingency plans are in place so that those passengers who require additional support are not affected by any proposed industrial action.”   

OCS Group has been contacted for comment.

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