HGV drivers employed by Alpha Flight, the sole supplier of inflight food for British Airways at Gatwick airport, have rejected a revised pay offer, increasing the prospect of strike action and disruption to the service.
Last month the 55 Unite members voted by 98 per cent in favour of strike action after Alpha Flight reneged on an agreement to introduce a market rate alignment pay allowance for HGV drivers. The drivers are paid far below the average local pay for workers undertaking similar roles.
An overtime ban was due to begin from next Monday (March 18) however this was called off after the company offered an additional six per cent increase for the drivers.
However, following a consultative ballot the new offer was overwhelmingly rejected by the drivers and further talks are scheduled for Monday, March 18.
The first strike is scheduled for 3am on Wednesday, March 27 until 11:59pm on Thursday, March 28. Unite is preparing to announce further strike dates, which are set to take place next month.
“In an act of good faith Unite has cancelled the overtime ban in order to allow members to vote on Alpha Flight’s offer,” said Unite regional officer Jamie Major.
“However, members have overwhelmingly rejected the offer because it was not sufficient to increase rates to the local market level,” he added.
“As a result the strike planned for the end of the month will go ahead and further industrial action is set to be announced.
“There remains time, for Alpha Flight to make an improved offer which meets our members expectations, which will ensure that BA’s passengers at Gatwick are not denied food and water on their flights.”