LONDON — Members of the Unite union based at London’s Luton Airport have voted majoritively in favour of going on strike over a dispute of pay and zero hours’ contracts. Workers in a variety of posts, such as Firefighters, Aviation ground staff & baggage handlers are expected to go on strike between May 25-30.
Firefighters are to strike for 24 hours from 7 am on Friday 25th May to Saturday 26th May. Menzies Aviation Ground Staff, including baggage handlers, will strike from 3 am on Saturday 26th May to 2 pm on Sunday 27th May. Security staff will strike from 3 am on Bank Holiday Monday to 5 am on Tuesday 29th May. Assistance staff working for Clece Care Services will strike for 48 hours from 5 am on Bank Holiday Monday. Finally, staff working in the operations and engineering facilities will strike for 24 hours from 6:30 am on the 29th May.
Workers at London Luton Airport are expected to be going on strike from May 25th to May 30th over a dispute of pay and zero hours contracts. Posts are varied between Firefighters, Aviation Ground Staff and Baggage Handlers. #AvGeek pic.twitter.com/T8Jm4oY2UG
— James Field (@AvGeekJames) May 11, 2018
Reports have estimated that up to 200,000 passengers are to be affected by these strikes, which will be one of the busiest periods for the airport in the year. Unite Union believes that the offers given to workers are “paltry” and insufficient, which was a pay rise of 2.15%, after a year where passenger numbers increased by nearly 9% and profits rose to £44 million. It is of the understanding that Unite believes that the airport can pay out more than 2.15%.
Luton Airport has said that they have made a new pay offer of 2.5% plus £150 for every member of staff it employs, to be paid in July this year. Unite’s Jeff Hodge, who is the regional officer for the union said that there are high chances of “severe disruption unless management gets around the table and negotiate a fair deal which recognises the contribution workers make”.
Luton Airport has also commented on the strikes saying: “We are disappointed that Unite members have chosen this course of action and recognise the uncertainty this news will cause for our passengers. We are working with the 73 percent of staff who did not vote to strike, to mitigate the impact of any action. We also remain committed to continuing discussions with Unite in the interim before any such action can take place”.
This will ultimately affect the operations of Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet, all of which have significant operations out of Luton. This could ultimately result in some cancellations, heavy delays and potentially rescheduled operations. They will want to resist any cancellations in flights as it will affect revenues for the month for their operations.