'The airport's profits are sky high and they want to employ us on Burger King wages.' That was how one striker last week summed up the anger of security workers at Manchester airport.
The workers are continuing a series of two-hour strikes against new contracts. The contracts would mean a 40 percent cut in wages, less holidays and a reduction in job security-preparing the way for privatisation. One striker said, 'The disgusting thing is that this airport is owned by a collection of Labour councils. Manchester council is the biggest shareholder. 'These are people I have voted for all my life, and I never thought I would see this day.'
Workers from the engineering section of the airport were also on the picket line last week. One engineer said, 'If they get away with doing this with the security staff it will be us next, and then the entire airport. There is no alternative but strike action.'
Strikers marched through the terminal building last week chanting, 'Sack the board,' despite management and police attempts to stop them. And a mass meeting on Thursday of last week saw an overwhelming vote to escalate the strike from a series of two-hour stoppages to a 36-hour strike.
One striker said, 'Companies all over the country are looking to see what happens at the airport, and that is why they can't be allowed to get away with this.'
Send messages of support and donations to TGWU Office, Olympia House, Terminal One, Manchester Airport.