Airlines

Luton airport faces ‘massive disorder’ as Wizz Air workers announce fresh strikes

Wizz Air passengers flying from Luton airport have been warned their flights face major disruption as ground handler workers announce three days of fresh industrial action.

Trade union Unite says workers, employed by GH London, are taking strike action after a breakdown in industrial relations.

The dispute is a result of GH London continually targeting and threatening a Unite rep with disciplinary action, along with the use of CCTV and audio recording of workers in break rooms without agreement, the union says.

Unite added that employees are taking action as a result of the company’s failure to follow its own disciplinary and grievance process, the disproportionate use of discipline against ethnic minority employees, and the company’s failure to pay wages in full and on time.

“The strikes will cause huge disruption to Wizz’s schedule but GH London has brought this dispute on itself”

RICHARD GATES, UNITE REGIONAL OFFICER

Sharon Graham, the union’s general secretary, 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.”

Richard Gates, Unite regional officer, added: “The strikes will cause huge disruption to Wizz’s schedule but GH London has brought this dispute on itself.

“Unite has given the company every opportunity to improve its conduct and it has refused to do so.”

The union said is has been attempting to resolve the disputes, which are longstanding, through negotiations but that GH London has failed to heed the union’s concerns.

Over 80 Unite members will stage three initial days of strike action. The first 24-hour strike will take place on 30 August, followed by further walk outs on 6 September and 13 September.

In response, a Wizz Air spokesperson said: “We are in touch with Luton Airport and our ground handling partner and are doing everything within our control to limit disruptions for passengers.

“In case of any disruptions, we will reach out to any affected passengers who booked directly with the airline via email and SMS and let them know their options as soon as we have an update.”

The fresh strikes come after Airline Routes and Ground Services (ARGS) reported last week that Gatwick staff are set to strike over the August bank holiday period.

Unite announced last Wednesday that more than 200 workers at the airport will take part in eight days of industrial action over disputes with Red Handling and Wilson James for failing to make pay offers that meet workers’ expectations.

Image credit: Wizz Air
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