Aberdeen Airport staff are to stage two further days of strikes amid concerns those drafted in to replace them are overlooking serious security threats.
Unite the union confirmed last night that airport staff had rejected the latest 3% pay increase offer – meaning further action will go ahead on the 27 and 28 June.
Aberdeen International Airport’s managing director, Steve Szalay, described the news as “extremely disappointing” as 65% of staff are expected to down tools for the third time in a month.
He said it was unfortunate Union chiefs had chosen to target some of the busiest summer getaway days, but said contingency planning would ensure it is “business as usual”.
The announcement of fresh strikes comes as it was revealed over the weekend that replacement staff brought in to operate baggage X-ray scanners may have missed up to 70 suspicious items.
It’s thought a succession of serious breaches took place during the last round of strike action on June 7 and 10.
Shauna Wright, Unite’s north-east regional officer, said yesterday: “We want to be clear about this; our members do not want to strike.
“They are left with no alternative given the threats and intimidation and the lack of consultative, meaningful dialogue taking place.
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“We will wait to hear from airport management on whether they wish to get back round the negotiating table or whether they are more interested in needlessly escalating this dispute.”
The new pay deal was rejected by 62.8% of workers, with more than 71% of those balloted understood to have also rejected a fresh pension proposal.
Unite said the ballot turnout was 96%.
Strike action is now expected to take place at Aberdeen Airport on June 27 and 28, between 6am and 10am each day.
Mr Szalay claimed the rejected pay deal offered to staff would have resulted in an “unconditional two year offer” and a £600 lump sum payment.
It is also understood that if strike action goes ahead the pay offer will be immediately withdrawn.
Mr Szalay added: “Our focus will now be on ensuring passengers will not be impacted by the upcoming industrial action which Unite has scheduled to target the busy summer getaway.
“Our robust and safe contingency measures will be in place on June 27 and 28, meaning it will be business as usual on those dates.”