Prospect members working in air traffic control for Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) are tomorrow, 29th July, taking part in a one day strike over plans to centralise air traffic control in Inverness.
The strike marks an escalation in the industrial action which has been ongoing since January.
Prospect members in HIAL voted to continue industrial action, including the option for a strike, in June having initially voted for the action at the end of last year.
They are taking the action because HIAL is pressing ahead with plans to close air traffic towers in the highlands and islands, centralising services in Inverness. This would remove high value jobs from remote communities, impacting strongly on those economies, and result in forced redundancies as people are unwilling to relocate from the communities they love and serve, to Inverness. ‘A Pandora’s Box of Unnecessary Risks’ HIAL’s Remote Towers Project
Ministers in the Scottish Government have refused to even meet those communities involved to discuss the impact this project would have on them. Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd is wholly owned by Scottish Government Ministers.
David Avery, Prospect Negotiator, said:
“Prospect members have been forced into strike action to protect jobs in the communities they serve. HIAL must halt its plan which will remove high value, skilled jobs from economies that can ill-afford to lose them, having a substantial negative impact on those communities.
“Prospect members are not averse to change but it has to be done in a way that maintains jobs and skills in remote communities.
“The Scottish Government also has the power to step in on this debate but has so far refused to even engage with its own elected representatives in the areas affected. If it was serious about standing up for the Highlands and Islands it would intervene.”
For more on this issue: