Gatwick Airport facing disruption as guards ballot for action, following decade long pay freeze
- Monday 21 January 2019
Passengers using Gatwick could face disruption later this year if the workers guarding the airport’s boundary vote for strike action.
The guards, who have only recently joined Unite, are employed by the facility management organisation OCS Manned Guarding and are paid £8 an hour, the same rate as they were being paid 12 years ago.
The guards staff all the vehicle barriers into Gatwick’s service areas. Any strike action will disrupt supplies, fuel and materials entering the airport as well as causing knock-on disruption to the surrounding road network.
Unite has begun a consultative ballot of the workforce today (January 21) closing on Monday 4 February. If the workforce gives their backing for industrial action, a full industrial action ballot will take place and strike action will begin this spring.
£1 an hour increase
Unite is seeking a pay increase for the workers, of a £1 an hour which would raise their pay to £9 an hour. OCS has offered the workers a 4.5 per cent pay increase but this has been rejected by the entire workforce.
Workers treated with disdain
Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “The hardworking and dedicated staff have kept the airport secure for years, but their loyalty has been treated with disdain by management.
“As the workers have not received a rise for over a decade, they would need a 40 per cent pay increase to restore their earnings to the real terms level it was in 2007.
“All the workers are asking for is a £1 an hour rise to increase their pay to £9 an hour.
“There is absolutely no justification for OCS to refuse this very modest pay rise and it’s a disgrace how these workers have been treated.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey..