Transport / More strike action on the cards at Sumburgh Airport

Sumburgh Airport in December. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

FURTHER strike action is set to take place at Sumburgh Airport next month.

The airport is set to be affected on 8 and 9 March in an ongoing dispute over pay among Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) staff who are members of the Prospect union.

Sumburgh Airport has been shut for three days this week as part of strike action by another union, Unite.

The possible strike action by Prospect members relates firefighters and security staff.

Prospect has also notified HIAL, which is owned by the Scottish Government, that firefighters will be commencing action short of a strike after the strike action ends on 17 March.

This will include an overtime ban, a refusal to cover non-ambulance extensions and special openings, working to rosters and withdrawal of good will.

Prospect negotiation officer Jane Rose said: “Our members in fire and security ensure airports across the highlands and islands operate safely and securely for the communities and businesses that they serve. They do not deserve the substantial real terms pay cut that is currently on offer.


“Members have resisted taking action for many months in the hope of avoiding disruption to their communities. However, we are in the worst cost of living crisis in 40 years and both HIAL and Scottish Government have completely failed to try and deliver a pay increase that properly addresses that.

“As such we have no option but to take this action. We are calling on Scottish Government to meet urgently with us and HIAL management to fund an improved pay offer and avoid causing further impact on the remote and rural communities of Scotland.”

Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s managing director, said: “We met with Prospect, Unite and PCS union representatives last Thursday, 16 February, and presented an enhanced proposal which comprised a tiered one-off non-consolidated payment on top of the percentage increase we offered before Christmas.

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“The three trade unions carefully considered the proposal, but unfortunately notified us that the proposal will not be sufficient to resolve the dispute.

“We are disappointed that our proposal fell short of the unions’ expectations and apologise for the disruption this industrial action will cause for our customers and airlines. We remain committed to resolving this matter and have asked to meet with the union representatives next week to better understand areas of potential compromise.”

The full list of potential HIAL Prospect strike days are as follows:

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