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Prospect union announces new strike at Highlands and Islands Airports sites as dispute rumbles on

By Philip Murray

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Inverness Airport.
Inverness Airport.

AIR passengers face further disruption in the Highlands after traffic controllers announced plans for another strike next month.

Prospect union members working at Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial) will walk out on industrial action again on June 12.

It follows a 24-hour walkout on May 23 that resulted in the closure of six airports in the region - including Inverness Airport at Dalcross.

Announcing plans for further action, Prospect negotiator David Avery said: “Since the initial strike action we have received no new offer from the employer, therefore our members have taken the decision to undertake a second day of strike action.

“The onus is now on Hial and Scottish Government ministers to engage seriously with this dispute and come up with a proposal that will resolve this issue.

“We remain willing to negotiate in good faith and hope that an acceptable solution can be found.”

Hial’s managing director, Inglis Lyon, said the move was “extremely disappointing” and accused the union of not giving the firm time to come back with a “further proposal” which he claimed would have been presented to Prospect “early next week”.

“Prospect were advised this morning that Hial were preparing a further proposal which we hoped would resolve the current dispute, and would be presented to them early next week,” said Mr Lyon. “Our proposal recognises the skills of our air traffic control officers (ATCOs) and the importance of delivering air traffic management services for the future.

“The proposal is within the flexibility granted by the Scottish Government to examine a retention allowance for ATCOs.

“We requested that Prospect suspend further dates for strike action to allow consultation on our offer to take place.

“It is extremely disappointing that the union has chosen to ignore our request and announce a further day of strike action on June 12.

“Our aim is to resolve this dispute as soon as possible and we will, of course, continue to engage with Prospect to consult on our proposal.”

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