London Gatwick Airport Strikes Called Off After Pay Rise Agreement
London Gatwick Airport has avoided significant disruption this summer as a final set of strikes scheduled for this week have been called off. The strikes were initially announced by around 1,000 employees, including baggage handlers and check-in staff, who were demanding better pay. However, after negotiations, workers have voted to accept a 10.3% pay rise, leading to the cancellation of the strikes.
The first round of industrial action, which was supposed to take place from July 28th to August 1st, was already halted following a breakthrough in talks. Now, the remaining four days of strikes, scheduled from August 4th to August 8th, have also been completely scrapped after staff at Gatwick Ground Services (GGS), who work on a contract for British Airways, agreed to the new pay deal.
Other firms involved in the strikes, including DHL Ground Handling, ASC, and Menzies, had already pulled out after reaching their own improved offers. However, the Unite union has warned that the threat of further strikes at the airport has not been lifted. Members at Red Handling, Wilson James, and DHL Gatwick Direct have also voted for strike action in separate disputes over pay.
Sharon Graham, the General Secretary of the Unite union, expressed satisfaction with the pay increase for GGS workers, stating, “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.”
Despite the resolution of the current strikes, the union has indicated that further strikes will be called in the near future if the companies involved do not make vastly improved offers that meet the expectations of their members.
London Gatwick Airport has already experienced cancellations this summer due to other factors, including air traffic control strikes in Europe and the closure of airspace due to the Russia-Ukraine war. EasyJet alone had to cancel 1,700 planned flights due to these issues.
Overall, the cancellation of the strikes at London Gatwick Airport is a positive development for both the airport and travelers, ensuring smoother operations during the busy summer season.