Airport security staff vote to stop industrial action

The industrial row which caused headaches among management at Sumburgh Airport is at an end, with union members voting overwhelmingly in favour of a management offer.

Prospect members working for Hial’s security company AMSL have voted 95 per cent – on a 74 per cent turn-out – in favour of the offer to “harmonise” terms and conditions over the next 20 months.

The backing follows a six year battle for equality, the union says, and comes after a 48-hour strike at Sumburgh Airport over the Easter holidays. A stringent work to rule duly followed.

Prospect national secretary, Alan Denney said the right decision had been made.

“I am delighted that this dispute has finally been settled and that our members will in future be on an equal footing with their colleagues in the wider Hial group. It is right that the vital task of keeping the public safe when they fly is properly recognised,” he said.

“I would like to thank members for their patience over six long years as well as the wider public for their support and understanding during the recent industrial action.”

Prospect had accused Hial of failing to agree equal terms for basic pay, as well as shift pay, sick pay, overtime, weekend premium payments, and holidays.

The union has highlighted sick pay as one of the “starkest examples” of inequality, where AMSL members received just five half days per annum, in contrast to six months’ full pay – in simple terms – for the staff who manage them, and other colleagues in the wider group.

Prospect represents more than 120 of AMSL’s 160 workers covering 11 Scottish airports including Dundee, Inverness, Stornoway and Sumburgh.

A Hial statement, which was unattributed to any one individual, said: “We are pleased that Prospect members have accepted the package of improvements proposed by Hial. Notwithstanding that disruption was minimal, today’s outcome is good news for staff and for passengers and means we can now focus on making this summer our busiest ever.”


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