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‘Time for action’

Low paid workers at Luton Airport intensify their campaign for pay justice
Ciaran Naidoo, Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Workers at Luton Airport will intensify their ongoing campaign for pay justice with a week of strike action planned by passenger mobility assistants and a strike ballot for cleaners.


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, November 8 from 5am until Thursday, November 15 ending at 5pm.


Clece claims its aim is to benefit society but it is leaving its UK workers impoverished. Its 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 will begin voting on strike action from this Wednesday, October 31. 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 have offered a three year pay deal to increase workers’ pay, but by 2021 workers will still be earning below the Real Living Wage.


Clece is a giant service provider which employs 70,000 workers mainly based in Spain but the company is expanding into the UK. In 2017 the company’s earnings were 76 million euros. In 2017 Sasse increased its turnover by 21 per cent to £9 million.


London Luton Airport announced profits of nearly £40 million and carried almost 16 million passengers in 2017 but the airport has refused to intervene to insist its contractors pay at least the Real Living Wage and treat workers at the airport with dignity.


Unite regional officer, Jeff Hodge said, “It’s time for Luton Airport to get its house in order. This year alone there have been five separate disputes over pay involving workers. The airport is suffering reputational damage. While three of the disputes were resolved after workers took a stand, the two disputes which remain unresolved involve the worst paid and worst treated workers at the airport. This is plain wrong and it’s time for action.


“With healthy profits and growing passenger numbers, Luton and its contractors have no excuse for paying workers below the Real Living Wage. Workers at Luton Airport are intensifying their campaign for pay justice.


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 focussed on pay and conditions


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