The owner of Aberdeen and Glasgow airports has reassured passengers that it has “robust contingency plans” in place to ensure the hubs remain operational during a staff strike today and Monday.
Members of the Unite union at both airports are staging a walk-out until 1600 today and from 0400 to 1600 on Monday, 10 June in a dispute over pensions and pay.
The union claims AGS Airports, which owns and operates both locations, is looking to close the defined benefit pension scheme, breaking a 2016 Acas agreement to keep the scheme open to existing members.
Unite had been working with Acas to stage negotiations with AGS, which had led to a postponement of action based on the proposal of a 3 per cent pay increase and a commitment to continue the pension scheme, but the union says AGS closed talks without reaching an agreement on the scheme.
Regional industrial officer Shauna Wright said: “Unite members at Aberdeen airport will join those at Glasgow airport taking industrial action to fight against this coordinated attack by AGS on our members’ pension scheme. We have repeatedly warned AGS that if it does not keep to the agreements made with us then industrial action would be inevitable. Let’s not forget that this attack comes despite Aberdeen airport having enjoyed a near doubling of profits.”
Wright warns that further strike action could be planned if AGS fails to reach an agreement with the union.
Responding to the strike action, a spokesperson for AGS Airports commented: “We are extremely disappointed that Unite has served notice for a further date of industrial action, but would like to take this opportunity to reassure our passengers that robust contingency plans will be in place to ensure Aberdeen International airport is fully operational…
“We have been in talks since January and, despite attending Acas, there continues to be no willingness whatsoever on the part of Unite to engage in any constructive dialogue. We made a significant improvement on our initial pay offer which was increased from 1.8 per cent to 3 per cent in line with demands. This was rejected by Unite without any further consultation with members and the union continues to deny them the right to make a decision on the offer of 3 per cent.
“In regards to our final salary pension scheme, it is simply unaffordable with the cost to the company due to rise to 24.7 per cent per employee. We tabled a generous compensation package for the remaining members, which again was rejected by Unite without first consulting its members.
“As always, we remain open to continuing dialogue with Unite to resolve this dispute.”