Easter strike threat at Luton Airport that could have affected thousands of travellers called off

Last minute talks have averted planned strikes this Easter by Luton Airport baggage handlers and check in staff.

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 2:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 3:01 pm

The strike, with staff employed by GH London Ground Handling Services on the Wizz Air contract, have been called off after Unite secured a deal to provide sick pay to the workers for the first time.

The company has also pledged to compensate workers for the persistent payroll problems.

Around 100 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, were due to begin strike action tomorrow (Thursday, April 14) with strikes lasting until Tuesday, April 19.

Strike action has been called off at Luton Airport

Workers with at least a year’s service will receive 13 weeks of sick pay with a mixture of full pay and half pay depending on their length of service.

Additionally, the company has agreed to pay each worker £100 compensation if their pay is late.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an important victory for our members at GH London Ground Handling. By standing together, prepared to take strike action, they have secured company sick pay for the first time, and won compensation for late pay.

“This win is further proof of Unite’s determination to drive up pay and conditions across UK aviation.”

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Once GH London Ground Handling realised the strength of feeling among the workforce it returned to the negotiating table and made an offer on sick pay and late payments that our members accepted.”

Speaking before the strike action was called off, a spokesman for Wizz Air said: “Wizz Air can confirm that negotiations between its ground handler at Luton, GH London, and some of its employees are still ongoing at this time. We understand offers have been put forward, and that union representatives have recommended these offers be accepted. We are hopeful that these negotiations will be drawn to a close soon.

“Wizz Air are in constant contact with our ground handling partners in Luton with regards to this issue, and are seeking regular updates and contingency plans to avoid any disruption to our operations and to our customers.”

GH London Ground Handling has been approached for comment several times.