Workers at London Southend Airport voted to strike today, in a move which is likely to severely disrupt operations at the airport over the busy Christmas period.
The strike was voted on by member of the GMB union, in response to Stobart Aviation, which owns the airport, refusing to recognise the union for the purpose of collective bargaining.
Union members are also angry at management for not providing sufficient protective clothing and training.
Complaints were also made about changes to their contracts and what they are paid compared to staff in other local airports.
Baggage handling, security, aircraft dispatch and flight operations will walk off the job if no resolution is reached.
Union officials believe more than half of the airport’s staff are GMB members, however this is a claim disputed by Stobart Aviation.
A Southend spokesman said: “London Southend Airport has a comprehensive action plan in place to ensure that this suggested action from GMB does not impact on our passengers’ well-earned Christmas breaks.”
Union officials have asked to meet with people from the airport next week in talks mediated by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).
However, Stobart Aviation has not yet agreed to attend the talks.