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Baggage handlers balloted for action in pay row

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Unite announced today, August 11, that members at Vanderlande Industries are to be balloted to strike in a row over pay – which if it goes ahead, would bring all terminals and airline baggage handling to a standstill.

The ballot opens today for three weeks until September 1. Vanderlande Industries has made two below-inflation pay offers of just five per cent and 2.5 per cent – both rejected by members.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said, “[Vanderlande] should be ashamed that, during a cost-of-living crisis, they are acting in such a penny-pinching manner while their bottom line shows just how much money they are making.”

Bus drivers to stay out in Manchester

Drivers from both First Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester are to strike for nine days over August and September over ‘derisory’ pay offers, Unite announced today.

Industrial action by around 1,500 drivers is predicted to bring chaos to the city as it coincides with a Manchester United home game at Old Trafford, a concert by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Wythenshawe Park, Pride weekend and the return of schools.

Strikes will be taking place on the August Bank Holiday Weekend and during the first week in September. Stagecoach drivers are taking action over a failure to backdate a pay offer. First Manchester drivers say that without a significant pay rise, chronic staff shortages and overwork will worsen at the company.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “First and Stagecoach pay their workers derisory wages, yet their profits continue to soar. Not only are the drivers struggling with rising living costs, the low wages paid by these companies are causing staffing shortages its workers are bearing the brunt. This cannot go on.”

Solent braced for Bank Holiday bus strikes  

The Solent area has been warned to expect significant disruption over the August Bank Holiday weekend as bus workers employed by First South take strike action over pay.

The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a reasonable cost of living payment. The company has refused to negotiate on the issue.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “First Group has a bare faced cheek. This is a company awash with money and yet it refuses to give its workers a decent increase to offset rampant inflation. Our members who play a vital role keeping the South coast moving are increasingly unable to make ends meet.

“Unite is entirely focused on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The workers at First South will receive Unite’s unflinching support.”

Compiled by Amanda Campbell