WHAT: Protesters to urge council to intervene in Living Wage row at Luton Airport
WHEN: Tuesday 6 November 2018 between 17:00-18:00
WHERE: Outside Luton Town Hall, George St, Luton, LU1 2BQ

Workers will hold a protest to call on Luton borough council, the majority shareholder and landlord at Luton Airport, to use its influence to press the airport to become a Living Wage employer.

Low paid cleaners employed by Sasse and workers employed by Clece Care Services who help passengers with mobility difficulties are fighting for at least a real Living Wage of £9.00 an hour and dignity at work. Ahead of a meeting of the full council workers will stage a protest outside the town hall to insist the airport’s contractors pay the real Living Wage.

This week is Living Wage Week. The Living Wage Foundation has today (5 November) announced an increase in the real Living Wage by 35p an hour to £10.55 in London and by 25p to £9 outside the capital (see notes to editors).

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “The council and the airport must take responsibility now for ending the scourge of low pay at Luton Airport. As a majority shareholder and landlord Luton council must do all it can to persuade Luton Airport to become a real Living Wage employer for all workers at our airport. We have had very positive discussions with the council who fully support our objectives but our members want to see action.

“Luton Airport announced profits of almost £40 million, carried more than 16 million passengers in 2017 and is undergoing a £160 million redevelopment. Workers directly employed by the council and the airport are paid at least the real Living Wage. There is no excuse for allowing contractors at the airport to pay workers so poorly that they can’t afford the day to day essentials.”

Unite members employed by Clece Care Services have voted to take strike action for a second time and will take a week of strike action from Thursday 8 November beginning at 05:00 until Thursday 15 November ending 17:00. The Clece Care Services' workforce at Luton Airport, who are responsible for helping passengers with mobility restrictions, including disabled passengers, are on a toxic combination of zero hours and the minimum wage.

Cleaners began voting on strike action last week. The workers employed by Sasse who are responsible for maintaining a safe and clean environment for staff and passengers at Luton Airport are currently struggling to make ends meet on the minimum wage of £7.83. Sasse which was awarded the contract by Luton Airport in April this year has offered a three year pay deal to increase workers’ pay, but by 2021 workers will still be earning below the real Living Wage.

ENDS

Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.

The Living Wage Foundation publishes the Living Wage figure: an hourly rate, set independently every year, and updated annually in November. It is calculated according to the cost of living and gives the minimum pay rate required for a worker to provide their family with the essentials of life.

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315