Gatwick Airport strikes called off as workers accept pay rise


A final set of threatened strikes at London Gatwick this week have been called off after workers voted to accept a 10.3% pay rise.

There had previously been warnings of significant disruption at the airport this summer after around 1,000 employees, including those in baggage handling and check-in roles, announced eight days of walkouts.

But the first round of industrial action, scheduled to take place from Friday 28 July up until Tuesday 1 August, was later halted following a breakthrough in talks.

The remaining four days of strikes, due to take place from Friday 4 August up until Tuesday 8 August, have now also been scrapped completely after staff at Gatwick Ground Services (GGS), who work on a contract for British Airways, agreed to the new pay deal.

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Staff at three other firms who were initially set to also be involved – at DHL Ground Handling, ASC and Menzies – previously pulled out after agreeing their own improved offers.

General secretary of the Unite union, Sharon Graham, said: “This is a significant pay increase for workers at GGS.

“From the outset our members have been rock-solid in their determination to secure a fair pay increase, which has resulted in a just settlement.

“The pay campaign at Gatwick Airport is a great example of how Unite’s unwavering commitment to jobs, pay and conditions for our members is delivering substantial financial benefits for workers.”

However, the union warned that the threat of further strikes at the airport had not been lifted.

Members at another group of firms, including Red Handling, Wilson James and DHL Gatwick Direct, have also all voted for strike action in separate disputes over pay.

Unite’s regional officer, Dominic Rothwell, said: “Further strikes will be called in the near future, which will cause substantial disruption across the airport, unless the companies concerned make vastly improved offers which meet our members’ expectations.”

The London airport has already been hit by cancellations this summer after easyJet announced it was scrapping 1,700 planned flights due to the impact of air traffic control strikes in Europe and knock-on effects of the closure of airspace due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

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