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Transport round-up—New strikes in airport fight

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Issue 2661
Glasgow airport workers strike
Glasgow airport workers take to the streets (Pic: @UniteScotland/Twitter)

Disputes are continuing to hit Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, both owned by AGS Airports Limited.

The Unite union members are fighting over pay and attacks on their pension scheme.

These break an Acas mediators’ agreement made in 2016 to keep the scheme open to existing members.

Seven new strike dates have been announced at Glasgow Airport with the first action planned for Wednesday this week.

Another strike was set for Friday this week, and then each day from Thursday of next week until 15 July.

Airport staff, including security officers, fire safety workers, airfield operations officers and engineering technicians, will all take part.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite’s regional industrial officer, said members had overwhelmingly rejected the latest pay and pension offer from management and so far discussions with employers had resulted in “minimal progress”.

He added that “the issue here is the attack on our members’ deferred pay through the closure of their pension scheme, and a pay offer which doesn’t even get close to matching the pay rises and the bonuses the boardroom receives”.

Meanwhile strikes at Aberdeen Airport were postponed last week for further talks.

And on Monday there was an announcement of a new ballot.

‘We back Chris Williamson’

A resolution supporting Chris Williamson MP was one of the motions passed at the RMT union conference last week.

There were also resolutions supporting the workers of Venezuela against any coup, and the workers of Cuba against new restrictions from Donald Trump’s government.

There was also a motion asking for the RMT to speak to the Cuban ambassador to raise concerns about the recent banning of a Pride march.

Another motion which was passed was about the need to continue to organise against racism and fascism and to provide stewards on demos.

There were two motions on Brexit.

One which asked that we continue to support an exit and oppose the EU, and another that we change our minds and support the Remain campaign.

The motion in favour of leaving won convincingly.

The union also vowed to continue the current political policy that we only support those politicians who support our aims.

Phil Rowan, delegate to conference

There could be a national train strike down the line after the Tory government and transport bosses failed to give sufficient pledges on workers’ pensions.

The RMT transport union said it is now preparing a ballot for action.

Its members want “cast iron assurances” that there will be no undermining of the current pension agreements.

RMT union members working for outsourcing giant ISS plan a 48-hour strike against new shift patterns that will mean them working an additional 60 shifts per year.

They are subcontracted to the Hitachi rail contract supplying rolling stock to Great Western Railway services.

After voting unanimously for strikes they were set to walk out for two days from 8pm on Tuesday 9 July.

The Unite union has suspended strikes planned by 900 First South Yorkshire bus drivers after “constructive and meaningful talks”.

Drivers were set to walk out for two days.

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