The popular theme park, Chessington World of Adventure, faces ride closures and disruption this spring and summer, due to its engineers balloting for strike action in a dispute over pay.

Engineers balloted

The engineers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are totally responsible for the safe running of the park in Surrey. They are fully trained in ensuring all the rides are operating safely and ensure that safety systems are fully functioning.

The engineers are seeking a pay rise in line with the real inflation rate (RPI), which currently stands at 13.8 per cent. The employer is seeking to impose a real terms pay cut on its workers.

Wealthy company

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Merlin Attractions is a highly profitable company that could and should be offering a decent pay rise to its engineers, who are dedicated to keeping the park operating safely.

“Unite is wholly dedicated to enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. Our members at Chessington World Adventure will receive Unite’s complete support.”

 Spring strikes

The strike ballot closes on Wednesday 12 April and if the members vote in favour of strikes, industrial action could begin before the end of next month.

The owner of Chessington World of Adventure, 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.

Disruption inevitable 

Unite regional officer Lui D’Cunha said: “Strike action will inevitably cause extreme disruption to the operation of Chessington World of Adventure but this dispute is entirely of the employer’s own making. It has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute through negotiations but has chosen not to.

 “Our members are simply seeking a pay increase in line with the real inflation rate.”


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.