Travelers are being warned of the possibility of “inevitable” disruption from later this month as nearly 1,000 staff leave Gatwick Airport as the busy school summer break approaches.
The union Unite said the strikes, which lasted for two consecutive long weekends, would cause “severe delays, disruptions and cancellations”.
Unite is targeting two key summer weekends for the UK’s second-busiest airport. The first dropout runs from Friday, July 28 to Tuesday, August 1, repeating a week later: Friday, August 4 to Tuesday, August 8.
The union said affected airlines include British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Tui and Wizz Air.
The workers involved were employed by four ground staff: ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS and DHL Services Ltd. They do the check-in, baggage handling and plane check-in.
Unite said it has been in talks with four companies since January, but all of them have failed to make satisfactory offers.
The association’s general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Our members at Gatwick Airport take on extremely demanding roles and are essential to keeping the airport and airlines running, but their employer somehow thinks it’s acceptable to pay them a small amount.
“As part of Unite’s uncompromising focus on the work, wages and conditions of its members, the union has drawn a line in the sand and is committed to eradicating the scourge of underpaying at the stadium. fly.”
Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell said: “Strike action will inevitably cause significant delays, disruptions and cancellations in Gatwick operations but this dispute is entirely up to the companies themselves. create.
“They have had every opportunity to make a fair pay offer to our members but have chosen not to do so.”
A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: “We are aware of the recent voting results. London Gatwick will assist affected airlines, who have contracts with third-party check-in and ground handling companies, with their contingency plans to ensure that as many flights as possible. The better it works on a schedule.”
During the strike, Gatwick Airport is expected to see an average of 441 departures daily, with easyJet being the largest airline, followed by British Airways, Tui, Vueling and Ryanair.
Aviation analytics firm, Cirium, said it expected 840,000 seats on those planes during the strike days.
A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We are extremely disappointed to learn of the industrial action proposed by Unite ground handlers at London Gatwick Airport over the weekend of Friday 28 July and Thursday. Six days August 4.
“More talks between ground handling company DHL and our Unite will take place early next week to try to resolve the issue and we urge them to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”
A Wizz Air spokesperson said: “We are in contact with our ground handling partners and are doing everything within our control to limit disruption to passengers.
“We will contact any affected passengers and let them know their options as soon as we have updates.”
independence asked ground handlers and airlines to respond.
Gatwick is the busiest single-runway airport in the world. This week easyJet – the main carrier at Sussex airport – said it had canceled 1,700 flights during the summer rush because of chronic air traffic control delays.