Socialist Worker

A bumpy ride for scabbing operator

by a Gatwick worker
Issue No. 1922

A SECOND 24-hour strike by 600 TGWU union members working for Servisair at Gatwick airport stretched management’s scabbing operation last week.

The workers were due to strike again on Wednesday and Friday of this week over the victimisation of their senior rep.

A meeting of stewards from companies across the airport last Friday heard that the Servisair action remains solid.

Management had to use three times more people than normal to cover the baggage handling work during the first strike two weeks ago.

Further action is now putting the company under pressure. It is having to bring in managers from across Britain to scab.

It is also bringing in workers from Manchester airport.

So the issue of raising support and solidarity for the Gatwick workers across the company, and across the industry, is pressing.

There’s no doubt that the company would find it extremely hard to cope with sustained strike action.

This is something Servisair workers were to set to consider after assessing the impact of this week’s action.

At the same time GMB union members working for the Swissport handling firm at Stansted airport have begun a ballot for strikes over pay.

All this comes after the victory two weeks ago by refuellers at Heathrow, and a few months after unofficial walkouts by check-in staff brought the airport to a standstill.

This all shows that airport companies are vulnerable to concerted action.

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Article information

Sat 9 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1922
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