Gatwick Airport passengers to face summer of disruption as staff vote on strike action
PASSENGERS who are flying from Gatwick this summer could be set to face delays and disruptions as workers consider strike action.
Staff at the West Sussex airport have begun voting on whether to take industrial action in mid-August.
Two separate groups of workers at Gatwick are being balloted on strike action over poverty pay rates.
If the workers vote for strike action then passengers are set to face delays and disruption which could hit their summer holidays.
Staff have until July 26 to vote on whether they back industrial action.
Unite say they are conducting a ballot of over 100 members working for ICTS, who are employed to scan passengers’ luggage for explosive materials and other dangerous and prohibited materials.
They are paid just £8.50 an hour and are seeking an increase of 50 pence an hour so that they are paid the real living wage of £9 an hour.
The union is also balloting members employed by outsourcing giants ISS, who are involved in maintaining the facilities at Gatwick airport as well as assisting with moving luggage and rearranging furniture.
The vote on industrial action comes after management reneged on a pay offer to increase salary of ISS workers, who are payed £8.49 an hour.
A two-stage pay increase had been agreed, with the second portion of this rise due in April 2019. However this payment was not made, the manager who arranged the original deal has left the organisation and the company has failed to honour the pay pledge.
Jamie Major, unite regional officer, said: 'It is time to end poverty pay at Gatwick airport.
‘It is astonishing that workers who undertake such crucial safety critical work as scanning luggage, are paid so little for the work they do.
‘If strikes go ahead then passengers will inevitably experience delays but this is in the hands of the contractors and Gatwick airport.
‘Workers are drawing a line in the sand and stating clearly they will no longer accept such miserable rates of pay.’
A spokesman for Gatwick told the Sun: ‘We are keen to see an agreement reached and for the focus to remain on delivering an excellent experience for our passengers this summer.’