Gatwick workers vote for strike

Baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by Swissport at Gatwick have voted to take industrial action over pay.

Two 24-hour strikes have been scheduled to take place on 25 and 29 August. This will halt baggage handling and check-in operations at a number of arilines including Virgin Atlantic, Monarch, Thomson Fly, First Choice, North West, Air Malta, Air Transat, Oman Air as well as some smaller airlines.

Swissport has offered a 3% payrise backdated to July and the union is calling for an increase in excess of 5%.  There is also a dispute over sick pay allowance.

Swissport workers are also being balloted at other airports including Stanstead, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Unite national officer Steve Turner said: “Our members have had enough, the liberalisation of ground handling services across UK airports has resulted in a ‘race of the bottom’ which must and will stop. We will not stand back and allow labour costs to determine whether contracts are won and lost.

“There is an air of growing confidence amongst aviation workers and a genuine anger at ongoing attacks from the industry on their terms and conditions.”

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