Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 11:42 UK

Fresh bid to avoid fire strikes

HIAL logo
HIAL said management would meet with the fire crews' union next week

Talks are to be held in an effort to resolve a pay dispute between airport bosses and firefighters and avert fresh strike action.

Industrial action on Monday closed nine Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) sites and disrupted flights from Inverness to the isles.

HIAL said management would meet with the fire crews' union Unite on Monday.

Unite have proposed a second day of action next Friday in the row over a rejected 2% pay increase.

HIAL said: "All parties will be sitting down to try and find a way out of the current dispute.

"We want to identify a way forward that will allow us to work together on the issue of pay. We also want to avoid a second day of disruption to passengers at our airports."

Travel disrupted

The state-owned company said it would notify airlines by close of business next Monday of whether or not it expects strike action to close airports.

The Scottish Government has already said it would not intervene.

It said the matter was for Unite and HIAL to reach a resolution on.

About 2,000 passengers had their travel disrupted by 24-hour industrial action on Monday.

Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick airports were closed.

Ahead of the strikes, Unite had said the issue of awarding its members more than a 2% rise was one for the government to sort out.

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