Published on Sunday, May 13, 2018

Bank holiday strikes planned for London Luton

Unions are warning of disruption at London Luton over the bank holiday weekend as staff vote for strike action.

Workers directly employed by the airport as firefighters, security guards and in other jobs voted overwhelmingly for strike action between 7.00am on Friday May 25 through to 6.30 am on Wednesday May 30.

The strikes are over 'paltry' pay and 'zero hours' contracts 'despite sky high pay increases for the bosses and record passenger numbers', said Unite the union.

"London Luton Airport now faces severe disruption unless management gets around the table and negotiate a fair deal which recognises the contribution workers make," said Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge.

"Turnover at Luton airport is up, company profits are up and passenger numbers are up. This April alone saw passenger numbers growing to 1.3 million people. That's the 15th consecutive month of over a million passengers passing through the airport. Workers at Luton airport deserve a decent rate of pay for their work and to be treated fairly by management. ~

"These ballot results demonstrate that members will no longer accept paltry pay and unfair treatment while their bosses constantly squeeze every last penny to boost profits."

The union said staff were outraged that Luton Airport's directors' remuneration has increased by 59% and the highest paid director received a pay increase of 48%.

Unite members at Menzies Aviation, which undertakes baggage handling at the airport, have also voted in favour of strike action.

Unite said their dispute concerns the company's failure to improve their current deal in line with rising inflation levels, breaches of the recognition agreement, poor working conditions and a lack of communication.

Unite's members employed by Clece Care Service Ltd, which provide assistance at the airport to passengers with reduced mobility, have also voted for industrial action regarding the 'over use of zero hours contracts, the failure to pay at least the real Living Wage, and bullying by the station manager'.

An airport spokesman said: "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% 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. We will keep passengers regularly updated via our website."

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