Gatwick Airport Staff Announce Eight Days of Strikes

DALLAS – Workers at the UK’s second busiest airport London Gatwick (LGW), are to stage eight days of walkouts during this year’s summer holidays in a row over pay.

A spokesperson for the Unite union said that up to 1,000 workers from ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS and DHL Services could walk out. The staff include baggage handlers and ground crew.

The initial strike will occur from Friday, July 28, until Tuesday, August 1. The second four days of walkouts will take place from Friday, August 4, until Tuesday, August 8. The union said that disruption to flights and cancellations are “inevitable.”

Thousands of travelers could be affected by the strikes. Photo: London Gatwick Airport.

Minimising Disruption

Gatwick Airport has said that it will attempt to support the affected airlines as much as possible and has various contingency plans in place to minimise disruption and ensure that flights operate as usual.

Various airlines, including easyJet (U2), British Airways (BA), Wizz Air (W6) and TUI (BY), will be affected.

Unite has been attempting to secure pay rises for its staff for several months. Many staff were laid off or had their pay and conditions cut during the pandemic. As the travel industry bounces back, the union demands that staff see their pay increase and working conditions improve.

easyJet (G-UZHD) Airbus A320Neo (Neo Livery). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

Travel Woes Continue

The news comes just days after LGW’s biggest operator, easyJet, announced that it would cancel 1,700 flights from its summer schedule as it attempts to manage the effects of planned European Air Traffic Control (ATC) delays and strikes. Many of the affected flights would be from LGW.

Security workers at nearby London Heathrow (LHR) recently called off a planned month-long strike after agreeing to a new pay deal.

Gatwick has submitted plans to bring its existing Northern Runway, currently used for taxiing only, into routine use. This would see the airport double its capacity to 78 million passengers annually, boost the local economy by £1bn and create 14,000 new jobs. However, opponents claim that the move would have few benefits for the local community and severely impact the environment, as the airport aims to reach its net zero carbon emission targets.

Featured Image: Gatwick Airport.

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