Over 200 striking security workers in the TGWU union at Manchester airport joined picket lines in a series of one-hour stoppages last week. The picket lines were very lively and confident. The strikers stopped traffic around the airport and received a very supportive response from the public and other airport workers.
The workers are outraged at the attempted imposition of new contracts. These would mean an increase in the working week from 38 to 42 hours, a loss of seven days holiday and a pay cut of 40 percent. The entire 590-strong security workforce have been threatened with the sack unless they accept this.
This contrasts sharply with the £90,000 pay rise of the chief executive, taking his pay to £260,000 a year, and pay rises averaging 40 percent for the other directors. The airport is run by 12 local councils, mostly Labour controlled. Around 30 strikers took their case to Manchester town hall last week, where they met a good response from passers-by, although not from the councillors.
The workers were set to hold a two-hour strike on Thursday lunchtime, with a mass meeting to discuss stepping up the action.