Planes to be grounded?
WORKERS AT Luton airport have voted by two to one for strike action which could halt the airport in the run-up to Christmas. Members of the TGWU voted by 256 to 152 to strike. They are furious that the private consortium which runs the airport wants to slash their pay by as much as 7,000 a year.
The company says it wants to "iron out pay discrepancies" amongst the workforce. What that really means is it wants to level down the pay of longserving members of staff to the lower rates of pay that new workers get. Security guards face having their pay cut from 21,000 to 14,000 as a result. Porters, cleaners and car parking staff all face pay cuts of between 30 and 50 percent.
The dates for strike action were to be announced later this week. The consortium which runs the airport-a major shareholder of which is Barclays Bank-should be forced to retreat. Luton Airport Limited leases the running of the airport from Luton Borough Council.
The volume of traffic through the airport has shot up. The airlines and the local authority are raking it in. Luton Airport Limited wants to up its share and wants workers to pay.