Workers at Luton Airport step up action with 49 day strike

Security guards employed by London Luton Airport are set to take strike action through most of June and July in a dispute over ‘heavy-handed’ changes to working time.

The workers will begin their fourth period of strike action today (Wednesday 5 June) from 04:30h through to Tuesday 23 July at 20:59h. Unite is meeting the airport with Acas next Wednesday (12 June) to try to resolve the dispute.

The trade union Unite which is representing the workers, said London Luton Airport is imposing a new shift pattern affecting around 120 security guards which means the workforce will have to work an extra 15 days a year. Workers say the new shift pattern is taking a heavy toll on their well-being.

The new shift pattern means working an extra 15 days and only getting nine full weekends free a year, worker have less rest time between shifts, the new shift means workers incur additional costs in childcare,and travel impacts workers with caring responsibilities.

95 per cent of the workers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.

Unite regional officer, Jeff Hodge said: “Security guards are determined to fight back against Luton Airport’s heavy-handed and antisocial shift changes. Management are trying to force staff to work for longer, with shorter breaks, while piling extra costs on the workforce.

“The airport management have even callously cut the amount of free weekends workers get to spend with their friends and family.

“The airport needs to take responsibility for the staff shortages by doing what’s needed to recruit new staff rather than heaping all the burden on its workforce.

“The airport now faces disruption through most of June and July. This latest strike represents a significant failure on the part of management at Luton Airport. Workers would not be taking this action unless they had genuine and serious grievances. We hope the airport listens and works with Unite to resolve this dispute.”