EasyJet check-in staff employed by Stobart Aviation Services by Stansted are to strike for 17 days this summer, their union confirmed yesterday.
Unite represents 43 passenger service agents employed by the firm, which has the easyJet contract at the Essex airport.
The strikes will start from July 25 on the eve of the peak summer holiday season.
The strike dates are set for July 25 to 2; August 2 to 5; 9 to 12; 16 to 19; and 23 to 27.
The staff voted unanimously to strike over the company’s refusal to pay wages in line with similar companies at Stansted; a refusal to recognise Unite as a trade union for collective bargaining purposes; and a breakdown in industrial relations, the union said.
Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “There is no getting away from it; these 17 days of strike action will cause severe disruption to thousands of easyJet passengers using Stansted for their summer holidays.
“A major bone of contention is that workers employed by other companies at Stansted are being paid up to 20% more for doing the same job.
“We held talks with the bosses of Stobart Aviation Services Limited last week and they were frankly dismissive of our pay claim.
“Our members were originally transferred from Menzies to Stobart, but ever since then, despite having a recognition agreement that should have carried over, Stobart bosses have blanked Unite when it comes to trade union recognition,” he claimed.
Unite is meeting the conciliation service Acas ahead of the strike, but Barter said: “It is our understanding that Stobart has declined, so far, to meet the conciliation service.
“We also believe it may also help discussions with Acas if a senior representative of easyJet were involved in any future meetings to resolve the dispute.
“However, there is a window of opportunity for the management to sit down with Unite and hold constructive talks to resolve this strike before the travel chaos kicks in on 25 July.
“Unite’s door is always open for such negotiations, but there does have to be a genuine attempt from Stobart’s to address our members’ concerns rather than simply stalling for time.”
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