Unite the union has today (12 March) confirmed that it is holding an imminent industrial action ballot at Glasgow Airport over a pay claim for 2019 and following proposals to close the final salary pension scheme.

In January 2019 the airport issued a 60-day consultation on closing the defined benefit pension scheme which has broken an Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) agreement made in 2016 to keep the scheme open to existing members. The airport is unilaterally proposing the scheme’s closure, despite posting huge profits.

Glasgow airport’s latest pay offer of 1.5 per cent, which represents a real terms pay cut, was rejected following a consultative ballot by 100 per cent on a 97 per cent turn out. The pension proposal was also rejected by a consultative ballot on the exact same figures. Glasgow airport has failed to significantly increase the pay offer despite admitting that they remain on target to increase profits for 2019 by at least six per cent.

The airport is part of AGS Airports Limited group, which also owns Aberdeen and Southampton airports, with all three airports being subject to the pension proposal. Unite represents around 500 workers at Glasgow airport. The company posted a £74 million profit after tax in 2017 up from £51 million in 2016. If the strike action ballot is successful, Unite members are expected to take action during the mid-April to mid-October period with an overtime ban scheduled to take place during the same period.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The proposal to close the final salary pension scheme at Glasgow airport breaks all existing agreements we have with the company. The company have reneged on their word as only three years ago Glasgow Airport agreed to retain its final salary pension scheme. The offer on pay is an insult to our members. Glasgow airport is  asking our members to take a real terms pay cut while they enjoy pre-tax profits of £91 million. This is corporate avarice of the highest level and totally unacceptable.

“Unite has no option but to ballot our members to defend their pension scheme and to secure a decent pay rise following the company doubling its profits. If there is widespread disruption over the Easter & summer months then the public should know now that the company is fully to blame for the situation.”


For more information contact Pat McIlvogue on (07918631805).

Notes to editors:

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.