Gatwick strike on the cards?

Gatwick airport porters planning industrial action over job cuts

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Members of Unite employed as porters by outsourcing giant ISS UK Ltd at Gatwick airport, are considering industrial action after being told that they would only receive a pay rise if they agree to job cuts.


The porters undertake a vital role keeping the airport running, while undertaking a variety of facilities services functions.


The workers earn just £8.68 an hour and are among the lowest paid workers at the airport. The pay rate is far below the real living wage of £9.30 an hour.


The workforce have been told that their pay will only be increased if they agree to a 10 per cent cut in jobs and accept new shift patterns which would result in them increasing the number of days they work at the airport.


The workers will begin voting in a consultative ballot today (February 10) and if as expected they support industrial action on the matter, a full postal ballot will be held.


Although ISS controls the contract all pay rises are funded directly by Gatwick Airport Limited which recently awarded its shareholders a £600m windfall.


Unite regional officer Jamie Major said, “Low paid ISS workers are effectively being asked to cut their own throats in order to fund a pay increase.


“The workers involved are among the lowest paid at the airport and undertake the roles that others are not prepared to do, in order to keep the airport running smoothly,” he added.


“Gatwick airport has just given its shareholders a £600 million windfall, giving these workers a pay rise would virtually cost them pennies.


“If members support industrial action Unite will fully support them. However, the union hopes that common sense prevails and our hard working members are awarded the pay rise they fully deserve.”


ISS have been dogged by controversy in recent times following last year’s attempts to deny workers pay as the company altered its payroll arrangements.


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