Workers at another UK airport vote to strike

By Lisa James
Home » Workers at another UK airport vote to strike

Workers at Glasgow Prestwick Airport have voted to strike this summer in a dispute over pay.

Airport security, firefighters, airfield operators, ground crew, ground handling, cargo customer service workers and cleaners are among those due to walk out after the union Unite rejected a 6.5% pay rise.

The union said lowest paid staff want to receive at least the Scottish Real Living Wage of £9.90 an hour.

But airport bosses urged Unite to reconsider, saying fewer than 18% of its workforce voted to strike and that most of the staff were happy with the pay offer and increased pension contributions.

A Glasgow Prestwick spokesman said: “We are extremely disappointed that Unite is continuing to pursue its threat of strike action – especially on the basis of just a small number of votes. Its confrontational approach jeopardises the fragile recovery of the airport following the pandemic.

“It is denying the majority of our workforce a pay deal which will see 70% of our 300 employees receiving a pay increase of 6.5% or above, improvements to allowances, increased annual leave entitlement, enhanced sick pay provisions, and up to 2%  more employer pension contributions.”

He added: “Unlike most other airports, we directly appoint our staff, making us one of the biggest employers in Ayrshire. We have strong plans to grow the business and create even more jobs.

“We urge Unite to reconsider their position, and work with us to realise our ambitions, which will have a positive impact on the local economy at a critical time for the region.”

Earlier this month, Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “Prestwick Airport and the Scottish Government need to put an improved offer on the table because Unite will resolutely support our members in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

The airport was taken into public ownership in November 2013 after being bought by the SNP Government for £1.

Transport Scotland said the airport was operated at arm’s length and that ministers do not intervene in commercial or operational matters, the Scottish Daily Express reports.

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