Crunch talks are being held today to try to avert a strike that could hit easyJet passengers at Stansted this summer.
Passenger service agents employed by Stobart Aviation to man check in desks for easyJet have voted overwhelming in favour of a strike unless the company puts forward a new pay deal and agrees to recognise Britain’s largest trade union.
Unite represents 43 agents employed by Stobart, which, it claims, pays less than other passenger service agents at Stansted. The company also refuses to recognise Unite as a trade union for collective bargaining purposes.
The turnout in the industrial action ballot was 88.4%, all of whom voted to strike.
Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “This emphatic vote in favour of strike action should leave Stobart Aviation Services in no doubt of the depth of anger felt by our members.
“Our members work unpaid overtime, experience staffing issues and lack basics, such as drinking water during their long shifts, while being paid up to 20% less for doing the same job as their counterparts in other companies at Stansted.
“This unacceptable situation has only been compounded by the attitude of bosses at Stobart Aviation Services who have refused to fully honour the trade union recognition agreement that carried over when our members transferred over from Menzies about a year ago.
“We hope that Stobart Aviation Services will do the right thing and avoid the possibility of strike action by engaging meaningfully with Unite to reach a deal on pay and trade union recognition.”
Meanwhile, Unite has postponed tomorrow’s planned strike at Glasgow Airport in order to put a new proposal from management to its members.
It has also suspended planned industrial action on July 11, but it said that if the management’s new proposal is rejected, the planned strike for selected times on July 12, 13, 14, and 15 will go ahead.
Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “A new offer has been put forward by Glasgow Airport management after a period of lengthy discussions. Unite will now ballot our membership on this latest offer and in a sign of goodwill on our part the strike action on 5 and 11 July has been suspended.
“We fully appreciate the inconvenience this action has caused the traveling public, but it is our job to robustly challenge the attack on our members’ pension scheme and get the best pay deal possible. It is ultimately up to the membership whether to accept or reject the offer; that’s democracy.”