McArthur welcomes progress to end industrial action

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has welcomed the progress being made to end the industrial action at Highlands and Islands Airports following the announcement that Prospect will put a revised offer from HIAL to their membership.

Prospect has confirmed that it will recommend the offer to their members and that the work to rule will be lifted during the period of consideration.

Mr McArthur recently highlighted to both the First Minister and Transport Secretary the impact disruption to lifeline air services was having on island residents, including those travelling to hospital appointments in Aberdeen. Orkney’s MSP urged the government to help facilitate discussions between both sides with a view to ending the long running dispute.

Commenting on the statements from HIAL and Prospect today, Mr McArthur said:

“This long-running dispute has caused uncertainty and disruption for passengers reliant on these lifeline air services. It is also come at a cost, both financial and reputational.

“I welcome the fact that agreement has been reached at last between HIAL and Prospect, enabling the union to recommend to its members acceptance of the offer now on the table. Hopefully this will allow a resolution to what has been a damaging dispute that has gone on for months.

“In the meantime, confirmation that the work to rule will be lifted pending the outcome of the ballot will come as a relief to the travelling public. The unpredictability of this aspect of the dispute has proved particularly disruptive.

“Looking further ahead, it is also clear that work will be needed to rebuild important relationships that have suffered as a result of the industrial action. Re-establishing trust on both sides is the surest means of avoiding a repeat of such action in the future”.

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