Widespread disruption is expected at Gatwick airport later this month after over 200 workers employed on the Norwegian airline baggage handling contract voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay.
An initial 24 hour stoppage will take place on Monday 30 October after workers voted overwhelmingly (91 per cent) in favour of taking strike action.
The workers are employed by Omni Serv which undertakes ground operations duties as well as baggage handling for Norwegian. However, Omni Serv is effectively the middle man as the contract is tendered by Red Handling which is a subsidiary owned by Norwegian airline.
It is Red Handling which is making the key decisions over pay. Rather than offer the workers a pay increase, Red Handling believed that a company barbecue was a suitable alternative.
The strike coincides with the end of the half-term holidays when the airport is expected to be particularly busy.
Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “Our members have voted for strike action as a last resort, after the company has refused to enter into any meaningful negotiations over an annual pay increase.
“To add insult to injury, it was thought that our members would accept being palmed off with half cooked burgers rather than receive a pay rise.
“Our members need to be able to afford to eat every day and not just when the company decides to provide them with a few burnt offerings.
“If Omni Serv, Red Handling and Norwegian want to prevent the disruption a baggage handling strike will cause at Gatwick, then they need to enter into urgent negotiations and make a reasonable pay offer to our members.”
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.