More than 1,000 Stansted workers balloted after 7.5% offer follows huge executive pay rises

The ballot, which includes security officers, cleaners, firefighters, maintenance staff and airport ambassadors, opens today (Friday 26 August) and closes 19 September.

An initial pay offer of 7.5 per cent plus a one-off £250 payment from Stansted, which is owned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), was overwhelmingly rejected by the workers. 

Unite said this is a pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, is running at 12.3 per cent and is expected to climb even higher.

During the pandemic, workers at the airport agreed to a 10 per cent reduction in pay for a year, which was extended at short notice by a further three months. Meanwhile, MAG executive pay for the same period increased by £2.8 million to £12.2 million, an increase of 23 per cent. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Stansted and MAG expected our members to make financial sacrifices during the pandemic and they expect them to do the same thing now during the cost-of-living crisis. Everyone is expected to tighten their belts except MAG’s rich executives. Our members won’t stand for it and they will receive Unite’s full support in fighting for a fair pay rise.”

Strike action would cause significant disruption, or could even close the airport, because of the key roles, such as security and firefighting, performed by the workers being balloted.

Unite regional coordinating officer Mark Robinson said: “Our members consider Stansted’s pay offer to fall short of their needs to pay simple household bills. The company, even before the pandemic, had reduced the elements of their remuneration package. Passenger numbers are picking up, with Ryanair recently announcing a further 500 flights for Stansted in October.  

“It is abundantly clear that the company can afford to invest in its staff and make a substantially improved offer.” 


For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]  

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