Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Union calls six days of strikes at London Gatwick airport

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London Gatwick airport could be hit by disruption later this month after the Unite union announced that around 300 ground staff will go on strike for six days.

The planned industrial action will take place on 12-14 July and 19-21 July. It will involve 100 baggage security screening staff working for ICTS, as well as 200 Wilson James workers who provide special assistance to vulnerable passengers.

Unite said the strikes had been called after its members rejected pay offers from the two companies.

Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary, said: “These workers undertake incredibly demanding roles at one of the UK’s busiest airports. They are simply seeking a fair day’s pay.

“ICTS and Wilson James are wealthy companies and can well afford to put forward acceptable pay offers. Our members at Gatwick have Unite’s total backing in taking strike action for a decent pay rise.”

Unite added that the strikes will “cause significant disruption to security screening and passenger services” at Gatwick on the strike days. The union also has warned there will be further strikes if the pay disputes are not resolved.

There could be further disruption at the airport with around 100 HGV and warehouse workers currently being balloted on holding their own strike over pay. These workers are employed by Dnata and provide easyJet’s onboard catering at Gatwick.

Unite’s regional officer Dominic Rothwell said: “These disputes could be easily resolved if reasonable offers are put forward. There is still time to avoid industrial action, but that will require these companies to table deals that are acceptable to our members.”

A Gatwick spokesperson said that the airport was “working with our suppliers to avoid any impacts and we expect to operate a normal summer holiday flight schedule for our airlines and passengers on these dates”.

“Of course, we hope Wilson James, ICTS and their union can reach a resolution before then,” they added in a statement.

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