Trade union tells airport-based companies if they don’t offer a decent wage rise then strikes are inevitable

Unite the union announced today (9 May) that over 400 members based at Glasgow Airport are set to be balloted on strike action following various pay offers being rejected or in one case no formal offer being tabled.

The workers are employed by five companies which are as follows: Glasgow Airport Ltd, ICTS Central Search, OCS, 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.

Unite confirmed it now plans to ballot the workers on strike action as part its ongoing campaign to deliver better jobs, pay and conditions at Glasgow Airport. Inflation remains historically high with RPI currently standing at 13.5 per cent.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: Unite has worked extremely hard over a number of years to ensure pay levels at Glasgow Airport kept up with the cost of living. What is now on offer, across the board, is real terms pay cuts and poverty pay. We will now ballot our members, at these five companies based at Glasgow Airport, because our members deserve better.

 It’s important to remember that it was Unite members who kept the airport clean, safe and operation throughout the pandemic. They did all this while enduring cuts to pay and conditions. It’s time for these companies to reward this loyalty by paying up.”

Around 200 ICTS Central Search members have rejected an improved pay offer which would increase basic pay to £12.61 by 94.4 per cent. The workers deal with passengers directly in the security search area and process them for flights. The workers cover mobile patrols, control access posts, screen all deliveries and deal with emergency services at Glasgow Airport.

OCS Group workers aid passengers with reduced mobility issues including assisting with wheels chairs and ambilift vehicles for travellers at airports. Over 50 Unite members have rejected an offer by 96 per cent which would take basic pay to £10.90 per hour.

 ABM cleaners who were at the forefront of ensuring that Glasgow Airport was fully compliant with safety measures and procedures throughout the Covid pandemic, have rejected a pay offer by 100 per cent which would take basic pay to £10.82 per hour. Around 50 Falck firefighters who perform fire safety functions at the airport have also rejected a basic 5 per cent pay offer by 98 per cent.

Unite can further confirm that Glasgow Airport has made no formal pay offer to around 100 Unite members for 2023while airport management have refused to pay a bonus to a number of engineers. The airport is part of AGS Airports Limited group, which also owns Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, added: “Over 400 Unite members based at Glasgow Airport have emphatically rejected unacceptable pay offers or in the case of the airport itself our members still haven’t even had any formal pay offer.”

If these companies don’t come back with fair and decent offers then a summer of travel chaos is on the horizon. It will be on the heads of these companies for any disruption caused to passengers because we are giving them every opportunity to resolve this through negotiation. Unite will support our members every step of the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions at Glasgow Airport.”