HIAL strikes suspended as unions consider new collective bargaining agreement

The latest bid could end industrial action at the state-owned Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial) network.

The company operates most of the airports in northern Scotland including Inverness, Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Stornoway and Benbecula.

Fire and rescue workers, security guards and administrative staff were involved in the dispute, which was led by unions PCS, Prospect and Unite.

Further action should affect Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Kirkwall and Wick airports on March 10, and Dundee, Inverness and Islay next week.

However, a new 7% agreement has resulted in a temporary halt to strikes from Monday while union members vote on the offer.

Hial chief executive Inglis Lyon remained optimistic that the latest deal would help settle the dispute that has been ongoing since December.

READ MORE: Largest teachers’ union accepts wage deal and ends long-running strikes

He said: “The new business case presented to Transport Scotland earlier in the week has been approved and has enabled us to make an improved salary offer.

“The unions have welcomed this offer and have promised to vote among their members to accept it.

“We look forward to the result of the vote and hope for a positive result to settle the current industrial dispute.

“We apologize for the disruption caused by this industrial action and ask that passengers contact their airline with any flight-related questions.”

Prospect’s Jane Rose told the BBC the latest offer was a “welcome improvement”.

We previously reported that the airline Loganair is ready to suspend some of its island flights for at least six weeks due to a regulation.

The move sparked concerns hundreds of Scottish islanders could miss mainland medical appointments.

The chief executive of NHS Western Isles has warned the action may represent “the most significant disruption to patient care” the public health department has seen outside of the pandemic.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/23378385.hial-strikes-suspended-unions-consider-new-pay-deal/?ref=rss HIAL strikes suspended as unions consider new collective bargaining agreement

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