Unite Scotland Press Release

For immediate release: Monday 5 June 2023

Unite ballots OCS workers at Glasgow airport after no improved wage offer

Workers provide aid passengers with mobility issues

Unite has confirmed today (5 June) that its members employed by OCS Group UK Limited based at Glasgow Airport will be balloted on strike action.

Around 70 Unite members previously rejected an offer by 96 per cent which would take basic pay to £10.90 per hour. The UK’s leading aviation trade union can confirm that OCS has to date refused to table an improved offer to the workforce.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members provide specialist services which are absolutely vital if some passengers are to pass through the airport safely. We cannot accept continued poverty pay and our members are rightly angry. Unite will always stand up for our members fighting for better pay, terms and conditions.”

OCS Group workers aid passengers with reduced mobility issues including assisting with wheels chairs and ambilift vehicles for travellers at airports. The company recorded a profit after tax for the period ending 31 December 2021 of £19.6m.

The ballot will open 6 June and close a fortnight later on 20 June. If the ballot is successful then this could see Unite members beginning strike action in early July during the busy summer airport schedule.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, added: “The OCS Group are treating their workforce with contempt. There has been no improvement to an original offer that would lift the basic hourly wage to £10.90. It’s a shameful way to treat these workers which is why we will now ballot our members on industrial action. If the ballot is successful then strike action is on the cards during a busy summer period.”

The ballot follows Unite securing a wage deal for around 250 ICTS Search workers last week which would lift basic pay by up to 11 per cent over the course of 2023.

Unite remains in a pay dispute with the following companies based at the airport: Glasgow Airport Ltd, ABM and Falck Fire Services UK. Unite members across these companies undertake various roles including cleaning, airport security, airport fire safety, airfield operations officers, and engineering technicians.