Air traffic controllers in Dundee are to strike because they don’t earn the same as their counterparts in London.
The trade union Prospect has notified Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) of its intention to strike, following a ballot where staff voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of industrial action.
Prospect has indicated the action could take place on days between April 1 and August 31.
HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon says the decision “will impact services” at Inverness, Sumburgh, Kirkwall, Wick John O‘Groats, Stornoway, Benbecula and Dundee airports.
The dispute involves a claim from the trade union for a double-digit wage increase in 2018/19 or a long-term commitment to above inflation pay awards.
More recently, Prospect has called for air traffic controllers in the Highlands and Islands and Dundee to have parity with controllers at London airports including Heathrow and Gatwick.
Mr Lyon said in a statement: “We do not believe comparisons with staff in London control towers are germane, because the volume of traffic experienced, type of air traffic control practiced and cost of living in the South East of England are not comparable with HIAL airports.
“As a government sponsored agency, HIAL must follow the Scottish Government pay policy.
“Last year HIAL awarded up to three per cent, plus incremental progression, or a one per cent non-consolidated payment to those on the maximum of their grade, to all HIAL staff. HIAL cannot implement pay awards more than that directed by government
“This will impact our air traffic services. In the event that strike action cannot be avoided, the airports mentioned above will close for the period of the strike and we will work closely with our airline customers to minimise the impact before and after any action.
“Please accept our sincerest apologies for the undoubted inconvenience this will cause and we will keep you updated on our efforts to resolve the dispute.”