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Air traffic control workers in Scotland to hold strike ballot

AIR-TRAFFIC-CONTROL workers in the north of Scotland are voting on strike action over plans to centralise their work and cut jobs.

Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) wants to concentrate air-traffic control in a single centre in Inverness.

The plan would mean closure of staffed control towers in local communities, including on Scottish islands.

The workers are member of Prospect trade union, which says the centralisation plan would take £22 million from island economies and uproot workers from their island homes.

It says centralisation would affect safety with the loss of local contact and information on weather conditions and other issues.

Prospect official David Avery said: “HIAL’s intransigence in this matter is frankly baffling. 

“However, we are seeking mediation with conciliation service Acas in the hope that a way to avoid industrial action can be found.

“Should industrial action be approved, there will be no impact on emergency cover.”

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon called the move “disruptive” at a time when the aviation industry is severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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