AIRPORT workers could be set to hold strikes after voting to back industrial action over a pay and pensions dispute. 

Members of Unite the Union at Glasgow Airport voted overwhelmingly for the action over a pay offer for 2019 and proposals by bosses to close the final salary pension scheme. 

Workers, who number as many as 500, are expected to take action during the busy mid-April to mid-October period, with an overtime ban also scheduled to take place during the same period. 

Union representatives have said Glasgow Airport’s latest pay offer of 1.8 per cent also represents a real terms pay cut. 

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They claim that the airport, which is owned and operated by AGS Airports, has failed to significantly increase the pay offer despite admitting that they remain on target to increase profits for 2019, following post-tax profits of £74million last year and £51m in 2016. 

Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The overwhelming support for industrial action on a very high turnout shows the strength of feeling by hundreds of Unite members at Glasgow Airport.  

"The workforce has been treated with disregard, contempt and disrespect. 

"The paltry pay offer on the table is an insult while the boardroom enjoys pre-tax profits of £91 million.”

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Alongside the dispute over pay offers, Unite have also challenged the proposed closure of the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme. 

The trade union say this has broken an Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) agreement made in 2016 to keep the scheme open to existing members.

However, airport bosses have said that rising employer contributions mean the scheme is "simply no longer affordable or sustainable". 

Mr McIlvogue added: "If this wasn’t bad enough, there is a proposal to close the final salary pension scheme at Glasgow Airport which breaks existing agreements we have with the company. 

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"So, while talks with ACAS are scheduled over the coming weeks, I’m not confident at all that Glasgow Airport management has the awareness and sense to bring this dispute to a positive resolution. 

"Glasgow Airport and the AGS Board have been well warned of the consequences of the attack on Unite members’ pay and pensions.  

"Industrial action is now set for the spring and summer period, and the public should know that Glasgow Airport is exclusively to blame for this situation.”

Further talks about the situation are scheduled for the coming weeks, with the busy holiday period just over the horizon.

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However, the 500 staff represented by Unite at Glasgow Airport could still carry out the industrial action, including the prospect of a strike which could impact flights and passenger services. 

Glasgow Airport have if this was to happen, "contingency plans" to avoid disruption would be implemented. 

A spokesperson for the Airport said: “We are extremely disappointed at the decision by the trade unions to take industrial action. We have made a pay offer that is entirely fair and reasonable against a backdrop of declining passenger numbers. 

“The consultation on proposals to close our final salary (defined benefit) pension scheme is still ongoing, however, with employer contributions anticipated to rise significantly above the current level of 19.8 per cent it is simply no longer affordable or sustainable. To suggest we have broken any agreements with Unite in regards to the company’s pension arrangements is simply incorrect.

“We are committed to continuing negotiations with the trade unions and have sought the intervention of the conciliation service ACAS in attempt to achieve a sensible and sustainable outcome. In the event of strike action we will implement our contingency plans to avoid any disruption for our airlines and passengers.”

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