UPDATE: Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) responds to Prospect union's plan to ballot members on industrial action over air traffic control plans
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The group which operates Inverness airport has responded to news that a union is planning to ballot members on industrial action over air traffic control plans.
Prospect members in air traffic control at Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) are to be balloted on industrial action over the company’s continuing plans for centralisation.
The action, if approved by members, would take the form of action short of a strike commencing on January 4, with individual one-day strikes taking place after that date.
Members are voting on the action because, the union says, they believe Hial's plan to centralise air traffic functions in Inverness would have a devastating effect on the communities affected, reducing safety and damaging the economy.
In a statement Inglis Lyon, Hial's managing director,said: “Having been made aware of the Prospect survey that canvassed air traffic controllers on industrial action, HIAL wrote to Prospect and suggested independent mediation. The union has now accepted and we will agree a date for discussions to take place.
“The threat of industrial action is likely to create uncertainty and frustration for communities, our colleagues and airline customers and that is an outcome we hope all parties will seek to avoid.
“From outset we have been clear HIAL has a no compulsory redundancy policy which was agreed by the Scottish Government and the trade unions, including Prospect, in 2018.”