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Air traffic controllers to strike at Inverness Airport and other Highland sites after break-down of talks between Prospect union and Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL)

By Philip Murray

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Inverness Airport.
Inverness Airport.

AIR traffic controllers are to strike in Inverness and a number of other Highland airports after talks between a union and transport chiefs broke down.

The union Prospect has announced that members will walk out on strike on Thursday, May 23 – and have signalled that further disruption could take place "throughout the summer".

Prospect and Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial) had been in talks through the ACAS arbitration service over a pay dispute.

A previous strike planned for April 26 was called-off by the union to allow talks to continue. But those talks broke down last week, prompting today's announcement.

David Avery, Prospect negotiations officer, said: "Members have run out of patience with Hial. Talks have been ongoing for more than a year to seek to resolve this dispute but to no avail. Prospect agreed to withdraw our strike action in April to allow further talks to take place. and members trusted that Hial would use that time to bring forward proposals to resolve the dispute – Hial have abused that trust.

“Members do not want to take industrial action but have been left with no choice. If they want to prevent disruption across the highlands on May 23 and throughout the summer then Scottish Ministers need to intervene.”

Action short of a strike also continues.

Airports that will be directly affected by the May 23 strike include Inverness, Dundee, Wick, Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Stornoway, and Benbecula.

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