Low paid cleaners at Luton Airport have rejected a pay offer from their employer Sasse because the offer does not meet their fair demand to be paid a real living wage of £8.75 per hour from this year.

100 per cent of workers who took part in a ballot on the pay offer rejected the deal. Union representatives for the Sasse workforce are now making preparations to hold a ballot for strike action. The cleaners will be the fourth group of workers to hold a ballot for strike action at the airport in disputes over pay and conditions, while the owners of the airport have posted profits of £39.6 million.

The workers who are responsible for maintaining a safe and clean environment for staff and passengers at Luton Airport are currently struggling to make ends meet on the minimum wage of £7.83 per hour. Sasse which was awarded the contract by Luton Airport has offered a three year pay deal to increase pay, but by 2021 workers will still be earning below the real living wage.

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Cleaners at Luton are preparing for a strike ballot to fight for pay justice. Sasse is offering too little too late. Unless the company improves its offer the airport faces its fourth strike ballot over pay this year.

“Growing passenger numbers at Luton mean that keeping the airport safe and clean for staff and passengers is hard work. Cleaners deserve a real living wage so they can afford the day-to-day essentials.

“Profits are up for Sasse and Luton Airport announced profits of £39.6 million. With healthy profits and growing passenger numbers, Luton and its contractors have no excuse for paying workers below the real living wage.”


Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.

  • 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.
  • For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315