Aberdeen Airport workers vote to strike in pay and pensions dispute

Workers at Aberdeen International Airport have voted to strike in a row over pay and pensions.

Members of the trade union Unite backed the action by 88.3% on a turnout of 79.5%.

No specific dates have been set for the action, although it is thought likely to begin in early May.

The airport said it was “disappointed” by the result of the ballot and it would have robust plans in place to make sure there would be no disruption for passengers.

The union said progress has been made through the conciliation service Acas, with airport owners AGS Airports now tabling a pay offer of 3%.

But it said no agreement has been reached on proposals regarding the pension scheme.

The union argues plans to close the defined benefit pension scheme break an agreement made in 2016 to keep the scheme open to existing members.

Shauna Wright, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “After this resounding result in favour of strike action at Aberdeen Airport, AGS should be left in no doubt about the strength of feeling among Unite members.

“We recognise the movement on pay by AGS but the sticking point remains the attack on our members’ pension scheme.

“Talks through Acas are ongoing and Unite, once again, encourages the company to use this period constructively to find an agreeable resolution to this dispute.

“But, if the company don’t, then they know that our members are prepared to fight to protect their hard earned pensions through strike action or action short of strike during the busy holiday season.”

A spokeswoman for Aberdeen International Airport said: “Clearly we’re disappointed at the result of the ballot, particularly as many staff will have cast their vote based on the initial pay offer of 1.8%, which was subsequently increased to 3%.

“This was in line with the demands of the unions.

“During talks at Acas, the company also significantly increased its offer of compensation to pension scheme members, however, we remain open to dialogue and talks are set to continue.”

On the pensions issue, she added: “The trade unions are referring to an agreement made with the company in 2016 and which AGS has honoured in full.

“In the event of industrial action we have robust contingency plans to ensure there would be no disruption for our airlines and passengers.”