Passenger service agents employed by Stobart Aviation Services on the Easyjet contract at Stansted airport have voted to strike in a dispute over pay and union recognition.

The Unite union made the announcement yesterday, saying 100 per cent of the 88.4 per cent of members who participated in the poll voting in favour of industrial action. The union represents 43 passenger service agents, who it says are upset about Stobart Aviation Services’ “refusal to pay wages in line with similar companies at Stansted, its refusal to recognise Unite as a trade union for collective bargaining purposes and a breakdown in industrial relations”.

Unite and Stobart are meeting today for talks in hopes of a “breakthrough”, but the union says a failure would raise the prospect of a walk-out and delays for Easyjet passengers at Stansted this summer.

Regional officer Mark Barter said: “This emphatic vote in favour of strike action should leave Stobart Aviation Services in no doubt of the depth of anger felt by our members. Our members work unpaid overtime, experience staffing issues and lack basics such as drinking water during their long shifts, while being paid up to 20 per cent less for doing the same job as their counterparts in other companies at Stansted.

“This unacceptable situation has only been compounded by the attitude of bosses at Stobart Aviation Services, who have refused to fully honour the trade union recognition agreement that carried over when our members transferred from Menzies about a year ago. We hope that Stobart Aviation Services will do the right thing and avoid the possibility of strike action by engaging meaningfully with Unite to reach a deal on pay and trade union recognition.”

The news comes after Unite temporarily suspended strike action by members at Glasgow airport following a new offer from AGS Airports. Staff are due to vote on the proposal, though a series of walk-outs are still planned between 12 and 15 July if the deal is rejected. A similar dispute has ended in a deal at Aberdeen airport.

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