London Gatwick Airport strikes: Further strikes announced as workers take eight days of industrial action including August Bank Holiday weekend
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The strikes will involve over 230 workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at Red Handling, a ground handling company and Wilson James, which operates the passenger assistance contract at the airport.
Both companies have failed to make offers that meet the workers’ expectations.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Red Handling and Wilson James need to wake up and smell the coffee, other employers at the airport are prepared to pay the going rate and there is no excuse why they shouldn’t do the same. There is no way our members will accept a real terms pay cut and poverty pay.
“Unite’s complete focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members will mean that our members at Gatwick will receive the union’s unflinching support.”
Red Handling workers are scheduled to begin their first tranche of strike action at 00:01 on Friday, August 18 with strikes concluding at 23:59 on Monday, August 21. The second strike will begin on 00:01 on Friday, August 25, ending at 23:59 on Monday, August 28.
The strikes at Wilson James will begin at 00:01 on Friday, August 18 ending at 23:59 on Sunday, August 20 and then from 00:01 on Tuesday, August 22 ending on Thursday, August 24 at 23:59.
Red Handling is responsible for ground handling for Norse Atlantic, Norwegian, Delta, TAP Air Portugal and Saudi. During the first four-day strike action at Red Handling, Unite believes that 216 flights could be disrupted or delayed, affecting approximately 45,000 passengers.
Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell said: “The strike action is set to cause severe disruption throughout Gatwick Airport, but this dispute is totally of the employers’ own making, they have been given every opportunity to make our members a fair pay offer but have failed to do so.
“The companies need to stop prevaricating and make an offer which meets our members’ expectations.”
Previous strike action over pay at Gatwick Airport scheduled for late July and early August involving four ground handling companies was called off, after all four agreed to make double digit pay increases.