Workers employed by contractor Wilson James, who undertake passenger mobility services at Luton Airport, have secured a significant pay increase following strike action.

Strike action taken

The workers took four days of strike action at the end of 2021 after the company tried to implement a pay freeze. Following negotiations the front of house workers at the company were offered a 4.3 per cent increase while the drivers, who have to possess a HGV 2 licence, will receive a 20 per cent increase.

Prior to the pay deal, the front of house staff were on the minimum wage rate of £8.91 an hour while the drivers were paid only £10 an hour.

Pay increase secured

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This pay deal demonstrates what can be achieved when workers stand together. Our members at Wilson James have transformed a planned pay freeze into a significant pay increase.

“Despite the challenges currently faced by the aviation industry, Unite will always fight to defend and improve the jobs, pay and conditions of its members.”

Sick pay increased

In addition to the wage increase, workers will now also benefit from an improved sick pay scheme which will provide 80 per cent of earnings for two weeks.

The offer was approved by Unite members following a ballot.

Important victory

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Our members at Wilson James undertake an important customer-facing role, supporting and assisting vulnerable passengers using Luton Airport.  It is only right that they are paid properly for their work.

“This was an important victory because it sends a crystal clear message across Luton airport that Unite will always support its members when they make a stand against low pay.”


Notes to editors:

Luton airport poverty pay strikes extended into New Year 

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.