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‘Low pay battle’

Heathrow and Luton airport workers set to strike
Alex Flynn, Friday, April 12th, 2019

Hundreds of baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by GH London (formally Azzurra) at Heathrow and Luton airports are set to start strike action later in April in two separate disputes over low pay, their union Unite announced today (April 12).


Over 300 workers at Heathrow’s Terminals 2 and 4 will strike from 12.01am on Friday, April 26 to 11.59pm on Monday, April 29 after members voted overwhelmingly by 99.2 per cent to take strike action on a turnout of 68.4 per cent. Workers are angry at a six year pay freeze and seeking to secure a minimum pay rate of the London living wage.


Meanwhile over 120 GH London workers at Luton airport are planning to walk out at the same time in a one week stoppage from 6pm on Friday, April 26 to 5.59pm on Friday, May 3. An earlier stoppage in March at Luton had been called off because of an improved pay offer, but the company has subsequently changed the structure of the deal angering the workforce.


Airlines handled by GH London in Heathrow Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 include: Air India, Thai Airlines, AlItalia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Gulf Air, Air Serbia, Air Mauritius, Bulgaria Air, TunisAir, Tarom and Air Malta.


At Luton Airport GH London provides ground-handling services to Wizz Air. Wizz Air is a low-cost airline serving mainly central and eastern Europe with around 42 routes from Luton.


“The overwhelming vote for strike action is proof that workers at Heathrow are fed up with year on year pay freezes,” said Kevin Hall Unite regional officer representing the workers at Heathrow.


“There is a lot of anger with more and more workers joining Unite to demand an end to this pay injustice,” he added


“It is now time for GH London to recognise its workers’ contribution with a significant pay increase and a commitment to pay a minimum of the London living wage.”


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