Socialist Worker

Clear victory for airport workers

Issue No. 1926

BAGGAGE handlers working for Servisair at Gatwick airport have won their dispute over the victimisation of their senior union rep and against the imposition of flexible working.

“It’s a tremendous result,” said one TGWU member. “Our union officials were told informally that the company was never going to let our convenor back through the door.

“But management were forced to allow an independent disciplinary hearing, which resulted in him receiving a warning rather than being sacked.

“And they’ve also had to agree to negotiate any changes to conditions through the existing arrangements with the union. It’s a clear victory.”

Management’s climbdown came after the 600 workers escalated their action to 48-hour strikes. For all Servisair’s bluster, a 48-hour strike two weeks ago clearly stretched their strikebreaking plan to breaking point.

“That’s an important lesson for everyone,” says one TGWU steward at Gatwick.

“If you’d just listened to the management’s claims you’d have given up. “But striking solidly and upping the action exposed the weakness on the other side.”

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Sat 6 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1926
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