Warning of 'summer travel chaos' as airport staff balloted for strike

Cleaners, engineers and firefighters are among those to reject pay offers from the airport companies.

Union bosses have warned of a “summer of travel chaos” after over 400 staff at Glasgow Airport rejected a pay offer.

Cleaning staff, security and engineering technicians are among those taking part in the ballot, organised by Unite Union.

Members are employed by five airport-based companies, Glasgow Airport Ltd, ICTS Central Search, OCS, ABM and Falck Fire Services UK.

It comes after various pay offers have been rejected by staff, while Glasgow Airport Ltd has not yet made a formal offer.

Staff at Edinburgh Airport are currently undertaking a strike ballot.

Union bosses say the offers made so far amount to a “real terms paycut” as RPI currently stands at 13.5%.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Unite has worked extremely hard over a number of years to ensure pay levels at Glasgow Airport kept up with the cost of living.

“What is now on offer, across the board, is real terms pay cuts and poverty pay. We will now ballot our members, at these five companies based at Glasgow Airport, because our members deserve better.”

She added: “It’s important to remember that it was Unite members who kept the airport clean, safe and operation throughout the pandemic.

“They did all this while enduring cuts to pay and conditions. It’s time for these companies to reward this loyalty by paying up.”

Around 200 security staff with ICTS Central Search rejected an improved pay offer which would increase basic pay to £12.61. Of those balloted, 94.4% voted to reject.

The workers cover mobile patrols, control access posts and seal with emergency services.

Over 50 Unite members working for OCS Group, who aid passengers with reduced mobility, have rejected an offer which would take basic pay to £10.90 per hour. A total of 96% voted to reject the offer.

A pay offer of £10.82 per hour for ABM cleaners was also rejected by 100% of members.

Around 98% of Flack fighters have also rejected a 5% pay increase.

Unite also say no formal offer has been made by Glasgow Airport to 100 union members for 2023.

The airport is part of AGS Airports Limited group, which also owns Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, added: “Over 400 Unite members based at Glasgow Airport have emphatically rejected unacceptable pay offers or in the case of the airport itself our members still haven’t even had any formal pay offer.

“If these companies don’t come back with fair and decent offers then a summer of travel chaos is on the horizon. It will be on the heads of these companies for any disruption caused to passengers because we are giving them every opportunity to resolve this through negotiation.

“Unite will support our members every step of the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions at Glasgow Airport.”

A spokesperson for ICTS Central Search said: “Generous pay proposals have been tabled that would give staff increases of between 14.0% – 30% over two years.

“The proposal gives an increase to the lowest paid full time employee of £6k. We would like to reassure the travelling public that their security is our priority and there will be no disruptions”.

STV News has contacted Glasgow Airport Ltd, ICTS Central Search, OCS, ABM and Falck Fire Services UK for comment.

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