Fresh travel hell for Britons as Wizz Air ground handlers announce three days of strikes
- Ground handling staff for Wizz Air have announced three days of strike action
British holidaymakers face more travel chaos as strikes have been announced by Wizz Air ground staff in one of the busiest airports serving London.
Handlers working at the carrier’s UK base at Luton Airport today announced they will strike for three days in August and September – in a protest over their working conditions.
Unite the Union added that over 80 of its members will participate in the industrial action on August 30, followed by further walkouts on September 6 and 13.
The staff are employed by contractor GH London Ground Handling Services Ltd, and have resorted to strike action after a collapse in talks with the firm’s bosses.
The fallout is said to have occurred after GH London ‘continually targeted and threatened’ a Unite Union rep with disciplinary action, The Sun reports.
Handlers working at Wizz Air’s UK base at Luton Airport today announced they will strike for three days in August and September – to protest their working conditions
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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘GH London’s conduct is appalling; workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and the company’s behaviour falls far below that standard.
‘Unite always puts the jobs, pay, and conditions of its members first and the workers at GH London will be receiving the union’s unflinching support.’
Complaints by workers include CCTV and audio recordings gathered from break rooms without consent, and allegations the company failed to follow its own disciplinary and grievance process.
They claim that ethnic minority employees are disproportionately subjected to disciplinary proceedings, and also point out instances of failure to pay wages on time.
GH London has been approached by the Daily Mail Online for comment.
It follows a fraught summer of industrial action air airports up and down the country.
Strike action due to start at Gatwick Airport earlier this month was called off after the final group of union members involved voted to accept an improved pay offer.
Unite said workers employed by Gatwick Ground Services (GGS), on the British Airways contract, followed employees at DHL Ground Handling, ASC and Menzies in cancelling industrial action following pay deals.
Strikes that were planned to last until Tuesday August 8 were canned after GGS workers voted to accept an improved pay offer of 10.3%, according to Unite.
Strikes that were planned to last until Tuesday August 8 at Gatwick Airport will now not go ahead after workers voted to accept an improved pay offer of 10.3%
Gatwick has had a poor summer for delays, with hundreds of flights being disrupted due to strike action
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Unite members at Red Handling, Wilson James and DHL Gatwick Direct have all voted for strike action in disputes over pay which, if they go ahead, will cause ‘substantial disruption and delays’ at the airport.
The union’s regional officer, Dominic Rothwell, said: ‘The threat of strike action continues to loom over Gatwick.
‘Further strikes will be called in the near future, which will cause substantial disruption across the airport, unless the companies concerned make vastly improved offers which meet our members’ expectations.’
EasyJet, which bases itself at the West Sussex airport, recently announced it had axed around 1,700 flights up to September – mainly at Gatwick – affecting more than 100,000 holidaymakers. Industry experts predict other airlines and airports will follow suit.
Alongside strike action, air traffic control (ATC) restrictions are further causing havoc for holidaymakers and airlines alike.
Strikes, staff shortages and air space closures related to the war in Ukraine mean ATC providers are limiting flight numbers across Europe.
European air traffic management body Eurocontrol warned that many key areas are expected to be hit by high overloads, so air traffic flow and capacity management measures will need to be taken, causing delays and flight cancellations.
Gatwick is the busiest single-runway airport in the world, but its flight numbers are currently capped at peak times due to the ATC issue.
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