Aberdeen Airport strike action to go ahead after pay offer rejection

posted on 25th June 2019 by Justin Burns

Unite the union today has reported that its membership at Aberdeen International Airport has rejected the latest pay offer and voted to continue industrial strike action this week.

The latest pay offer to its members by the airport was rejected by 62.8 per cent, and by 71.5 per cent to reject the pension proposal and to continue with the dispute.

The ballot turnout was 96 per cent. Strike action will now go ahead at Aberdeen Airport on 27 and 28 June.

Aberdeen International Airport managing director, Steve Szalay said: “During our talks with Unite last week and in attempt to bring the industrial action to an end, we tabled a further improved and unconditional two-year offer. This would have resulted in staff receiving a 3% pay increase in 2019 with 2020 set at RPI and a £600 lump sum payment.

“It’s extremely disappointing this has been rejected and our focus will now be on ensuring passengers will not be impacted by the upcoming industrial action which Unite has scheduled to target the busy summer getaway. Our robust and safe contingency measures will be in place on 27 and 28 June meaning it will be business as usual on those dates.”

Unite said the pay offer for 2019 by Aberdeen Airport remained the basic three per cent with a new one-off payment of £600 for full time employees but the bonus plan has now been removed. Next year, Aberdeen Airport proposed an annual pay offer identical to the retail price index figure in January 2020.

The union said AGS Airports Limited, which owns Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports, “remains unwilling to discuss” or reopen the consultation on closing the pension scheme.

This position it said breaks an Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) agreement made in 2016 to keep the scheme open to existing members.

Unite has also reiterated its concerns over airport security following media revelations at the weekend, which highlighted breaches in airport security due to contingency staff brought in during strike action at Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports.

Aberdeen Airport is part of AGS Airports Limited group, which also owns Glasgow where a series of industrial stoppages are taking pace over the coming days. Aberdeen Airport increased after tax profits from £10.7 million in 2016 to £19.1 million in 2017.

Unite regional industrial officer, Shauna Wright said: “Unite took the latest pay offer back to our membership at Aberdeen Airport to let them decide on the course of action. It was vital that our members had the opportunity to consider and respond to Aberdeen Airport and the AGS Group. The message our members have sent could not be any clearer or any louder.

“Let’s hope this second strong mandate shows Aberdeen Airport’s management that they need to come back around the table with an offer Unite can support so that we can find a remedy to this dispute. Unite’s members have democratically voted to continue strike action and this action will continue unless they receive a significantly better offer.

“We will wait to hear from airport management on whether they wish to get back round the negotiating table or whether they are more interested in needlessly escalating this dispute.”