UK airport strikes to hit bank holiday travellers

LONDON - Travellers face severe delays at two of Britain's biggest airports over the August bank holiday weekend after around 500 baggage and check-in staff voted to strike over pay.

By (Reuters)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 15 Aug 2008, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:53 AM

Staff at London airports Gatwick and Stansted plan to walk out on the Aug. 25 bank holiday and again on Aug. 29 after rejecting a pay offer from airline services group Swissport, owned by Spain's Ferrovial.

A spokesman for Swissport said it was too early to estimate the level of disruption, but added the company thought it had made a fair pay offer and would now work at minimising disruption for the travelling public.

He said it was not yet clear whether pay negotiations with the union were continuing.

Gatwick-owner BAA, the airports operator also owned by Ferrovial, said it was looking at contingency plans in the event of the strike going ahead.

"Our aim is to minimise the disruption," a spokeswoman said.

Trade union Unite said in a statement Swissport had offered a pay increase of 3 percent backdated to July, compared with the union's demand of over 5 percent.

"Our members are already struggling to keep up with rising food and energy costs. This pay offer is an insult," officer Steve Turner said.

Workers at Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle airports will also be balloted in coming days, the union added, though Heathrow is unaffected because Swissport is not involved there.

BAA also owns Heathrow as well as Gatwick and Stansted, giving it a monopoly over the three main London airports which is under investigation by the Competition Commission.

More news from