Cleaners working at Luton Airport will take strike action this month over low pay.

The 30 plus workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed by Sasse Ltd on an outsourced contract.

Low paid

The workers, who are currently paid just £10.90 an hour, have rejected a pay increase of five per cent for day workers and seven per cent for night workers. With the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 10.7 per cent this amounts to a substantial real terms pay cut.

The workers have announced two initial 24-hour strikes beginning at 06:30 on Friday 11 August, with the second strike taking place form the same time on Wednesday 30 August.

Huge amounts 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Sasse has been caught red handed. It is prepared to pay out huge amounts in dividends, yet it doesn’t believe it is necessary to give its very low paid cleaners a fair pay increase.

“Our members at Sasse will be receiving the union’s complete support.”

Dirty toilets

The strike action will result in toilets not being cleaned, toilet rolls not being replaced, bins being not emptied, communal areas across the airport not being cleaned and general uncleanliness throughout the airport.

Sasse is a successful company that made a gross profit of over £4 million in 2022 and paid out a dividend of £500,000.

Dirty airport

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Passengers using Luton Airport this month should be braced for toilet hell. Toilets will not be cleaned, toilet paper will not be replaced, bins will be overflowing and the airport will be dirty.

 “While passengers may be alarmed and angry, this dispute is entirely due to the refusal of Sasse to make our members a fair pay offer.”


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.