Workers at Gatwick Airport have begun balloting for strike action in a dispute over a below inflation pay increase. If workers support industrial action then strikes could begin by the end April.

The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, have been offered a below inflation increase.

The company has offered a non-consolidated payment of £500 from October 2017 (the pay anniversary date), then a 2.8 per cent increase from April 2018 until October 2019 and an additional £350 non-consolidated payment.

The company’s pay offer comes at a time when the profits of Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) have risen by £35.5 million to £97.4 million, in the past year.

The ballot for industrial action will begin on Friday 23 March and will be completed on Friday 13 April. If members vote for action, strikes could begin during late April.

Unite’s members at Gatwick Airport include security staff, firefighters, trolley supervisors, surface transport workers and engineers.

Although Gatwick Airport is only offering a below inflation pay increase it recently gave shareholders £375 million in windfall and dividend payments.

Gatwick is currently operating at record capacity with the number of passengers accessing the airport having increased by 7.7 per cent.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “Workers at Gatwick are disgusted with the company’s attitude. Their hard work means the company has achieved record profits, and they are dealing with record numbers of passengers, yet they have only been offered a real terms pay cut.

“Our members who are working harder than ever are not going to stand idly by and accept what will be a real terms pay cut.

“If GAL wants to avoid strike action which will inevitably lead to widespread disruption for passengers, then the management needs to return to the negotiating table and make a sensible offer.”


Notes to editors:

The current Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate is 3 per cent and the current Retail Price Index (RPI) rate is 4 per cent. For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email:

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.