Unite warns of Glasgow airport security risks as workers ‘routinely’ denied breaks

image credit: Glasgow airport

Unite has warned of potential security risks ahead of the summer holiday rush at Glasgow Airport due to understaffing and security staff being denied contractual breaks.

Scotland’s leading aviation trade union confirmed today (Thursday 30 May) that it has been directly informed by workers at ICTS Central Search that they are being ‘routinely’ denied breaks which they are legally entitled to.

The union is reporting growing incidents of fatigue, exhaustion, and stress due to staff working beyond six hours with no break.

This constitutes a contractual breach, and a breach of the Working Time Regulations.

ICTS Central Search employ around 250 workers who deal with passengers directly in the security search area, and process them for flights.

The workers cover mobile patrols, control access posts, screen all deliveries and deal with emergency services at Glasgow Airport.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary said: “Unite has been made aware of an alarming situation at Glasgow airport which not only impacts on the wellbeing of workers but the security of all passengers.”

“It is appalling that ICTS workers are being routinely denied their contractual breaks by management, and under no circumstances will this be tolerated.”

“Unite will back our ICTS Search members all the way in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite understands the principal reason for the situation at ICTS Search is due to understaffing and shift patterns, which the union believes are not fit for purpose.

Unless remedial measures are adopted imminently, Unite will have ‘no option’ but to initiate an industrial action ballot that will coincide with the summer holiday rush.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “The ICTS Search workers undertake safety and security critical tasks but how can they do this effectively when they are mentally and physically exhausted. If this situation is not resolved, then Unite will have no option but to ballot our members for industrial action.”

The union further confirmed it is in the process of contacting the Health and Safety Executive, and the Central Aviation Authority, due to the major concerns it has for the security and integrity of the search areas for the traveling public.