HOLIDAYMAKERS could soon face disruption as it emerged staff at Glasgow Airport are to be asked about the possibility of strike action over a pay dispute.

Unite the union has confirmed it will be holding an industrial action ballot after its members rejected the latest 1.8 per cent offer made by airport chiefs as part of a long-running saga.

Union bosses also claim officials have taken the step to close a final salary pension scheme and Unite say this breaks a previous agreement from 2016.

If the strike ballot is successful, nearly 500 workers at the Paisley-based airport would walk out between mid-April to mid-October with an overtime ban also coming into affect during the same time period, our sister title the Barrhead News reports.

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Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: "The proposal to close the final salary pension scheme at Glasgow Airport breaks all existing agreements we have with the company. The company have reneged on their word as only three years ago Glasgow Airport agreed to retain its final salary pension scheme.

"The offer on pay is an insult to our members. Glasgow Airport are asking our members to take a real terms pay cut while they enjoy pre-tax profits of £91 million. This is corporate avarice of the highest level and totally unacceptable.

"Unite has no option but to ballot our members to defend their pension scheme and to secure a decent pay rise following the company doubling its profits.

"If there is widespread disruption over the Easter & summer months then the public should know now that the company is fully to blame for the situation."

A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport, which is owned and operated by AGS Airports, said: "We are disappointed at the decision by the trade unions to hold an industrial ballot following the rejection of our proposed pay offer of a 1.8% increase which is in line with the current rate of inflation.

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"We have made an offer that is entirely fair and reasonable against a backdrop of wider challenges within the industry which have resulted in declining passenger numbers for Glasgow.

"Our pension consultation, which has already been extended willingly by the company to ensure full engagement, is not due to close until April. We are therefore disappointed at Unite’s decision to proceed straight to an industrial ballot, particularly given that they have not attended a single meeting to date in respect of the consultation. At no point have we broken any agreements with Unite in regards to pension arrangements and to suggest otherwise is simply incorrect.

"AGS Airports opened the pension consultation in January with employees, their trade union and elected representatives regarding a proposal to close the company’s final salary (defined benefit) pension scheme to future accrual.

"Of the 871 people employed by AGS, only 177 are members of the current scheme, however, with employer contributions anticipated to rise by more than 40 per cent it is simply no longer affordable or sustainable."

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