The GMB union has announced two strikes over the August bank holiday weekend that it claims will bring ‘chaos’ to Liverpool John Lennon airport.
A total of 80 workers from across the airport – including aviation rescue and fire fighting services, the control room, engineering, driver operations and airport bird control – will walk out from 1900 Thursday, 23 August until 0700 Saturday, 25 August.
This will be followed by a further 12-hour strike beginning at 0700 on Monday, 3 September.
GMB says more strikes will follow after members rejected a 2 per cent pay rise offered by the airport because it didn’t match July’s inflation rate of 2.5 per cent. It claims the increase would equate to a pay cut in real terms.
Eddie Parker, GMB organiser, commented: “Liverpool Airport Ltd has failed to meet the aspirations of the GMB members, who have rejected the company’s proposed below inflation offer of 2 per cent. We have informed the company strike action will not be suspended unless a 3.6 per cent increase is offered.”
Parker says the airport has allegedly hired third party companies to carry out work presently undertaken by the aviation recue, fire fighting service and bird control personnel. He says the union cannot confirm whether these agency workers have “the necessary specialised skill set and personal fitness standards required” for the job.
He continued: “Whilst Liverpool Airport Ltd has financially invested in developing the airport over recent years, the same sadly cannot be said for their investment in their employees – who have had enough of being taken for granted by their employer.”
Liverpool John Lennon airport denies the strike action will cause ‘chaos’ and that measures are being put in place to reduce disruption to passengers.
A statement from the airport said: “The airport company put forward a pay proposal of a 2 per cent pay increase, back dated to 1 April, plus a £150 one-off payment. However, out of 60 GMB Union members who voted, 36 chose to reject the company’s latest pay offer and have voted for strike action.
“The GMB have subsequently informed the airport that their members will commence an indefinite overtime ban from 23 August onwards, plus strike action.
“The airport company is very disappointed with the result of this ballot and firmly believes that its pay proposal compares favourably with pay increases seen by many other private and public sector organisations.
“Talks between the airport and the GMB to resolve this pay dispute will continue, however plans are in place that will ensure there is no impact on the passenger experience and that it remains business as usual during this time.”