Chessington facing series of spring holiday strikes in pay dispute
- Thursday 20 April 2023
Chessington World of Adventures is facing severe disruption during the spring holiday season as engineers employed at the theme park take part in strike action in a dispute over pay.
The highly trained engineers who are responsible for the smooth running of the park and for ensuring that its safety systems are fully operational are taking strike action in four blocks in May including the May Day weekend, the coronation weekend and the late spring bank holiday (see notes to editors).
Merlin Attractions which operates Chessington World of Adventures is attempting to impose a real terms pay cut on its workers. The engineers are seeking a pay increase in line with the real rate of inflation (RPI) which currently stands at 13.5 per cent.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Merlin Attractions is an extremely wealthy company which is anticipating a bumper year. It can fully afford to make a fair pay offer to its workers, but it has chosen not to do so.
“The engineers are critical to the safe and smooth operation of Chessington, so their employer should be rewarding them for their vital work instead of seeking to impose a real terms pay cut.
“Unite always priorities the jobs, pay and conditions of its members, our engineers at Chessington will receive the union’s complete support.”
The owner of Chessington World of Adventures, Merlin Attractions is highly profitable and its theme park division recorded profits of £87 million in 2021 (the latest accounts) as the company recovered strongly from Covid.
Unite regional officer Lui D’Cunha said: “Strike action will inevitably cause a huge amount of disruption at Chessington and it will greatly affect the experience of customers, however this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making. It has been given every opportunity to make workers a fair pay offer, but has refused to do so.”
Notes to editors
Details of the strike action at Chessington World of Adventure:
- Commencing at 00:01 hours on 28 April 2023 and continuing each day up to 1 May 2023 when the action will conclude at 23:59 hours;
- Commencing at 00:01 hours on 5 May 2023 and continuing each day up to 8 May 2023 when the action will conclude at 23:59 hours;
- Commencing at 00:01 hours on 12 May 2023 and continuing each day up to 15 May 2023 when the action will conclude at 23:59 hours;
- Commencing at 00:01 hours on 26 May 2023 and continuing each day up to 29 May 2023 when the action will conclude at 23:59 hours’
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.