Published on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Gatwick strike threat as workers reject pay offer

Unite claims workers at Gatwick Airport are heading towards industrial action after they voted overwhelmingly to reject a three-year pay offer of an increase of 2% plus £250 for the first two years.

The offer was conditional on the introduction of a new starter rate, which, said Unite, would result in new recruits being paid up to £7,000 a year less than existing workers doing the same job.

Unite said over 2,000 members, including security staff, firefighters, terminal operatives, surface transport workers and engineers, voted by 98% to reject the offer on a turnout approaching 80%
The union said it is now seeking an urgent meeting with Gatwick Airport Ltd and the tabling of an improved pay offer. 

"If this is not forthcoming then Unite will begin preparations for a full industrial action ballot," it said, warning that strikes could begin in the spring.
"Members are particularly angry at the proposed pay offer, which is below the retail price index inflation rate, as Gatwick's shareholders recently received a £600 million windfall and the airport recorded a profit of £60 million last year.
"Gatwick's chief executive Stewart Wingate is paid in the region of £3,000 a day," it said in a statement.
Regional officer Jamie Major added: "It is now incumbent on Gatwick Airport to come back with a dramatically improved pay offer which meets the workers' pay claim.
"The airport is fantastically profitable as a result of the hard work of our members and they believe they should be properly rewarded for their hard work and loyalty.
"To even be suggesting the introduction of new starter rates, far below what workers already receive, demonstrates that the airport's management is putting profits before people.
"Unite's members have no desire to cause disruption to the travelling public but they will not allow their pay to be cut in real terms."

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