Strike action which would have disrupted all vehicles entering Gatwick Airport has been averted after Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, secured an inflation busting pay increase for security guards.

Unite warned in January that the guards, who had recently joined the union and who are employed to staff all the vehicle barriers into the airports’ services areas were considering strike action over low pay.

The guards who are employed by OCS Manned Guarding were only being paid £8 an hour, the same rate as they were receiving 12 years ago.

However following a consultative ballot and detailed pay negotiations a 12.5 per cent pay increase backdated nearly a year to 1 April 2018 was tabled.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “Security guards at OCS were on the verge of taking industrial action as they felt they were the forgotten workforce at Gatwick and their standard of living has plummeted.

“Due to the workforce’s solidarity and pressure from Unite we have been able to secure a historic inflation busting wage increase for the security guards.

“This is a perfect example of workers joining Unite, getting organised and then securing a richly deserved pay increase.

“Additionally, Unite has agreed to a closer working relationship with OCS to promote better employee engagement which befits a workforce employed at a 21st century international airport.”

The pay talks were facilitated by Matt Penfold of conciliation service Acas, who was instrumental in reaching this deal.


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.