HGV drivers employed by Alpha Flight, the sole supplier of inflight food for British Airways at Gatwick airport, have rejected a revised pay offer, increasing the prospect of strike action and disruption to the service.

Low paid drivers

Last month the 55 Unite members voted by 98 per cent in favour of strike action after Alpha Flight reneged on an agreement to introduce a market rate alignment pay allowance for HGV drivers. The drivers are paid far below the average local pay for workers undertaking similar roles.

An overtime ban was due to begin from next Monday (18 March) however this was called off after the company offered an additional six per cent increase for the drivers.

New offer rejected

However, following a consultative ballot the new offer was overwhelmingly rejected by the drivers and further talks are scheduled for Monday 18 March.

The first strike is scheduled for 03:00 on Wednesday 27 March until 23:59 on Thursday 28 March. Unite is preparing to announce further strike dates, which are set to take place next month.

Good faith

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “In an act of good faith Unite has cancelled the overtime ban in order to allow members to vote on Alpha Flight’s offer.

“However, members have overwhelmingly rejected the offer because it was not sufficient to increase rates to the local market level.

“As a result the strike planned for the end of the month will go ahead and further industrial action is set to be announced.

“There remains time, for Alpha Flight to make an improved offer which meets our members expectations, which will ensure that BA’s passengers at Gatwick are not denied food and water on their flights.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.