Southampton Airport faces shutdown

Southampton Airport workers prepare to strike after three year pay freeze

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Workers at Southampton Airport who haven’t had a pay increase since 2019 will take a series of one day strikes beginning on 5 November after months of unacceptable delays by airport bosses.

Airside operations controllers, firefighters, technicians and engineering workers will take 1 day of strike action on Saturday 5 November, Saturday 12 November and Saturday 19 November.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “During the pandemic workers at Southampton Airport made huge sacrifices, accepting reductions in pay and conditions while working around the clock to keep the airport safe and running.

“Inflation is now at a 40 year high. It’s completely wrong for the employers, AGS, to refuse these safety critical workers a decent pay increase after a three year freeze. The workers have had enough. The airport bosses need to make a realistic pay offer to the staff if they are to avoid an escalation of the dispute. They should do that now.”

RPI inflation is running at 12.6 per cent but AGS airports who also own Aberdeen and Glasgow airports are offering workers a real terms pay cut between 4% and 6% depending on when the workers began employment.

Too make matters worse the current pay structure is a complete mess with workers doing the same jobs being paid differently. Unite is calling for a significant uplift in line with inflation and an urgent review of the salary bands.

Unite regional officer, Ian Woodland added, “Southampton Airport has a good future ahead. Not only did the workers go beyond the call of duty during the pandemic but they campaigned to help secure the runway extension. It’s time to recognise the workers’ contribution with a fair pay deal.”

By Ciaran Naidoo

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