Threat of bank holiday strikes at Gatwick is lifted, union reveals

Threat of bank holiday strikes at Gatwick is lifted, union reveals

The prospect of disruption for passengers using Gatwick Airport this weekend has lifted after a union received inflation-busting pay offers from two third party support companies.

Unite said its members at ground handlers Red Handling and Wilson James had been due to strike but they had since accepted a new offer from their respective employers.

The union said the deals marked the conclusion of eight pay disputes it had started at the airport and that neither had resulted in industrial action that affected passengers.

It had previously warned of inevitable delays for passengers in the run-up to the peak summer season had a series of threatened strikes at Gatwick gone ahead.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said of the settlements: “This is a tremendous achievement, Unite has co-ordinated industrial disputes across Gatwick to secure well-deserved pay increases for its members.

“The pay campaign at Gatwick airport this summer is one of the clearest examples yet of how Unite’s relentless focus on jobs, pay and conditions is paying direct financial dividends for its members.”

Members of Unite at Red Handling accepted a 14% increase in pay, improved overtime rates and better sick pay, the union said.

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It added that those at Wilson James accepted a 16% pay hike and an increase in overtime rates from next month.

The union had previously resolved pay disputes at six other companies: ASC, ICTS, DHL Gatwick Direct, DHL Services Ltd, GGS and Menzies Aviation.

In all cases the workers secured at least a double-figure pay increase, it said.

The rate of inflation currently stands at 6.4% – easing from a cost of living crisis high just above 11%.

The union’s argument was that members had suffered years of real terms pay cuts – that is pay failing to keep pace with the rate of inflation.


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