Unite agrees to suspend strike action at HIAL


LONDON – Unite, the union, which represents fire-fighters and engineers at Highlands and Islands airports (HIAL), has agreed to suspend strike action on July 4, 2008.

Following a meeting today in Inverness, Unite members have agreed to call off the strike action in an effort to resolve the ongoing pay dispute by giving HIAL management four weeks to come up with an alternative pay proposal.

Unite has insisted that this time period should allow HIAL the necessary time to conduct individual profiles of fire fighters, airport by airport, to ensure that supplementary payments – pensions, holidays and overtime, for example, are consolidated.

An offer of a 2% pay increase has already been rejected due to the unique nature and risk these jobs involve and Unite members had previously taken strike action on Monday, June 23.

Donald Munro, Unite regional official said, “The decision by Unite members to suspend the strike action set for July 4 is a measure of our commitment to resolve this dispute. We have given HIAL management a further four weeks in order to conduct individual profiles of each fire-fighter to ensure that supplementary payments are consolidated.

“Therefore, we await a response from HIAL to this latest olive branch. However, our members remain firm in the belief that they deserve a decent wage in return for their hard work, and I am sure that their claim and efforts to resolve this dispute, but not at any price, is something supported by the public.”