Responding to news that a strike date set by Air Traffic Controllers working for HIAL, following a breakdown in the talks set up to resolve the pay dispute, coincides with the first day of the Orkney Folk Festival, local MSP Liam McArthur commented:
“It is hugely frustrating that talks between the union and HIAL have broken down again. Agreement between both sides seems as far away as ever.
“While any disruption to our lifeline services is a concern, I am alarmed that the proposed strike date clashes with the start of the Orkney Folk Festival. This is an absolutely key event in the Orkney calendar, with performers and visitors flying in from all over the country and beyond. If all flights are cancelled, this will inevitably impact on the success of the festival.
“I have been in touch with the unions, HIAL and Scottish Ministers over the course of today, urging all sides to do what they can to avoid this damaging action taking place. A resolution to the dispute is long overdue, but the priority at this stage would be to find an alternative date for any strike action.”