Gatwick airport to be hit with strikes in peak summer travel season

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Virtually 1,000 staff at London’s Gatwick airport will strike for eight days in July and August in a dispute over pay, placing in danger holidaymakers’ plans on the peak of the summer time journey season.

Unite the union mentioned on Friday that 950 floor workers would stroll out between July 28 and August 1 and between August 4 and August 8, affecting airways together with British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Tui, WestJet and Wizz.

Gatwick, the UK’s second-busiest airport, is a significant hub for flights to Europe and a few intercontinental routes. Most faculties in England shut subsequent week and demand for journey is predicted to surge.

Unite mentioned it had been in talks over pay with employers ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS and DHL Providers Ltd since January, however that each one had “didn’t make presents that meet the employees’ expectations”.

The union instructed the Monetary Instances that ASC had provided a pay rise of seven.9 per cent for 2023 and a rise of 4 per cent in 2024. DHL provided 8.5 per cent for 2023, whereas GGS provided 10 per cent over three years alongside a productiveness bonus of two per cent.

Menzies mentioned it had provided an increase of 11 per cent for 2023.

Dominic Rothwell, the union’s regional officer, mentioned the stoppages would “inevitably trigger extreme delays, disruption and cancellations” however blamed the businesses for declining to “make our members a good pay provide”.

The transfer by workers at Gatwick comes weeks after greater than 2,000 Unite members working as safety workers at Heathrow known as off a “summer time of strife” after agreeing a revised pay provide from the UK’s hub airport.

Employees throughout the private and non-private sectors have staged a historic wave of commercial motion since final yr amid calls for for larger pay to offset rising residing prices. In a push to finish some strikes, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday introduced a rise of between 5 and seven per cent for public sector staff for 2023-24.

Unite can also be balloting members for a separate walkout at three different Gatwick-based corporations. It mentioned voting was anticipated to shut on the finish of this month, and that staff may start putting by mid-August.

Phil Lloyd, senior vice-president UK at Menzies Aviation, mentioned it was in “continued discussions with airline companions” and had invited Unite to restart talks.

“We are going to proceed to work to pursue an agreeable answer to guard service to our airline and airport companions and their clients,” he added.

British Airways mentioned its floor dealing with agent, GGS, was “shocked” by Unite’s announcement and “persevering with to work with the union to resolve this concern as a matter of urgency in order to not disrupt . . . clients’ journey plans”.

Gatwick airport, DHL and ASC didn’t reply to requests for remark.

The airline business has been hit by workers shortages after cuts made through the pandemic, with all elements of the sector, particularly air site visitors management, struggling to maintain up with demand.

EasyJet mentioned on Monday that it had cancelled 1,700 flights, principally at Gatwick, due to “difficult circumstances” in air site visitors management.

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