GLASGOW Airport users have been hit by security delays as the first of two 12-hour strikes began in a dispute over pay and pensions.

Unite the union says there was "severe disruption" as a result of the action which involves airport security officers, airport fire safety, airfield operations officers, and engineering technicians.

Some passengers have reported waits of up to two hours at Glasgow Airport.

"Unbelievable queues at Glasgow Airport security this morning despite radio reports that passengers wouldn’t be impacted by strike,” said Twitter user 4pointUK.

Carla Sandhu added: "Chaos at #Glasgow Airport this morning with mixed messages from staff. Thank you to the kind, friendly and competent member of the team who helped me make the BA Gatwick flight."

“Horrible to arrive in the Glasgow Airport and meet queues like this,” tweeted Fuad Alakbarov, alongside a picture of a long line. ⁠⁠ Members of the Unite union at Glasgow and Aberdeen Airports walked out at 4am on Friday following a breakdown in talks about pensions and pay with owner AGS Airports.

And Glasgow Airport said they had encountered longer than normal security times for "a short period" during peak departure times this morning " and would apologise to our passengers for any inconvenience caused".

A Glasgow Airport spokesman added:"It is important to highlight that the airport is fully operational and our contingencies are in place.

"We are working hard to ensure we keep any disruption to an absolute minimum during this period of industrial action and our passengers remain our primary focus."

Unite confirmed another six hour stoppage will take place on June 21 from 8.30 am. to 2.30 pm. This is in addition to stoppages on June 10 between 4am to 4pm and June 14 between 4am and 8am.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The industrial action has severely disrupted Glasgow Airport’s operations, despite the underhand tactics by management which included substituting fire safety officers with other staff on site who were questionably trained for the job. It’s a shame that passengers’ travel has been disrupted but this is 100% the fault of Glasgow Airport management.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Unite has repeatedly requested meetings with management and can categorically prove that we wanted to meet any time this week to try and find a resolution to this dispute. But, our overtures have been completely ignored which is why we have added further dates for industrial action. If we continue to be ignored then we will have no option but to escalate this dispute.” The union says the dispute centres on Glasgow Airport withdrawing from negotiations over its proposal to close its pension scheme to existing members.

Unite says that decision broke an existing ACAS agreement made in 2016, which the union says saved AGS £12m in the last three years while Glasgow Airport posted a £74 million profit after tax in 2017.

AGS Airports had said "robust contingency plans" would be in place to ensure that both airports are fully operational.

The airport tweeted: "We apologise to our customers for the delay at security this morning.

"Following the commencement of industrial action and transition to our contingency in security, we have experienced longer than normal queues."

Aberdeen Airport said there were no delays or cancellations due to the strike.

An AGS spokesman said: "We have been in talks since January and, despite attending Acas, there continues to be no willingness whatsoever on the part of Unite to engage in any constructive dialogue.

"We made a significant improvement on our initial pay offer, which was increased from 1.8% to 3% in line with demands.

"This was rejected by Unite without any further consultation with members, and the union continues to deny them the right to make a decision on the offer of 3%.

"In regards to our final salary pension scheme, it is simply unaffordable with the cost to the company due to rise to 24.7% per employee.

"We tabled a generous compensation package for the remaining members, which again was rejected by Unite without first consulting its members.

"As always, we remain open to continuing dialogue with Unite to resolve this dispute."

A Glasgow Airport spokesman said:  "While deploying our contingency teams as industrial action got underway this morning, we experienced some disruption during the changeover at a peak time for the airport. This led to longer than normal queue times.

"We quickly resumed normal operations, no flights were cancelled over the entire day and for the small number of delays we had on any flights the average delay was 15 minutes. Of the 23,000 passengers who travelled through the airport today we have reached out directly to three individuals who were unable to make their flight. 
"Aviation is one of the most heavily-regulated industries in the world and despite completely false claims from Unite we would like to reassure our passengers that our contingency staff are fully qualified and competent, as we have demonstrated to the regulator. At no point will Glasgow Airport compromise on the safety or security of our staff and passengers. 
"We are committed to ensuring disruption is kept to an absolute minimum and we want to reassure our passengers they continue to be our priority and take this opportunity to thank them for their patience."