London Stansted Airport staff to vote on strike over pay

Strike would cause 'significant disruption' or could even close the airport, union says

More than 1,000 workers at Stansted will be balloted. Photo: London Stansted Airport
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Members of the Unite Union at London's Stansted will begin voting on Friday over whether to strike in a dispute over pay, threatening further disruption at one of Britain's busiest airports.

More than 1,000 workers, including security officers, cleaners, firefighters and maintenance staff at Stansted, will be balloted, with voting closing on September 19, the union said.

The ballot over the strike comes after workers rejected a pay offer of 7.5 per cent plus a one-off £250 ($294) payment, the union said. UK inflation topped 10 per cent in July.

“Our members consider Stansted’s pay offer to fall short of their needs to pay simple household bills,” Unite regional co-ordinating officer Mark Robinson said in a statement.

A representative for Stansted Airport said it was “surprised and disappointed” by news of the ballot but was committed to reaching an agreement that recognised staff contributions and maintained financial stability after a challenging period during the pandemic.

“This is the very same pay offer we agreed with Unite, and which it strongly recommended its members voted in favour of as recently as July 20,” the representative added.

Strikes in Britain — in pictures

A strike at Stansted could cause further disruption for an aviation industry struggling with staff shortages at a time of surging demand, which has resulted in flight cancellations and longer wait times at airports.

Unite said the strike would cause “significant disruption” or could even close Stansted Airport.

Workers in a range of sectors across Britain have taken or threatened to strike in disputes over pay this summer.

On Friday, more than 115,000 Royal Mail postal workers began a four-day strike across Britain.

Updated: August 26, 2022, 8:28 PM