Workers from the ground handling company Swissport based at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted airports have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.
94 per cent of workers balloted voted in favour of strike action. The massive vote in favour of action has prompted the company to request an urgent meeting with Unite which the union has agreed to attend. The meeting is scheduled to take place this Wednesday (16 October).
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "In the light of this overwhelming mandate for action Swissport has requested talks which we are happy to attend so we can try to resolve this matter.
"The dispute centres on the company's decision to freeze workers pay for eighteen months, from April 2012 through to October 2013, followed by a below inflation increase of just 2.5 per cent.
"Our members are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and Unite believes Swissport is failing to recognise the contribution its staff are making to the success of the company. We hope that over the coming days we will be able to thrash out a deal with the company but this will depend on whether the company is prepared to move on from its current position on pay."
Swissport's clients include;
Stansted airport: Ryanair, Thomas Cook and Thomson
- Manchester airport: Monarch, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Virgin Emirates
- Gatwick airport: Monarch, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Virgin and British Airways
- Heathrow aiport: Virgin
Workers balloted include check-in staff and baggage handlers.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
Unite represents almost 1,000 workers across Swissport. Workers voted by 94 per cent in favour of action with 6 per cent voting against action on a turnout of 50.5 per cent.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey