Security workers at Gatwick airport are set to strike for 48 hours from Saturday, 10 August in a dispute over “poverty pay rates”.

The Unite union said 130 members employed by ICTS, who are contracted to scan passengers’ luggage for explosives and other dangerous and prohibited items, voted by 95 per cent to stage the walk-out.

According to regional officer Jamie Major, the majority of security workers are paid less than £9 an hour, which he said is “not enough to live on in the expensive south east of England with its sky-high housing costs”.

Major commented: “ICTS workers have an incredibly responsible security role scanning the luggage of every single passenger on every single aeroplane that flies out of Gatwick airport. Security and safety should be the absolute top priorities and yet these workers feel undervalued, demotivated and fed up of working for an employer that doles out poverty wages.

“It is high time the airport got its priorities right and starts investing in its hardworking staff, instead of paying millions to its shareholders.”

Unite claims the strike has the potential to cause “delays and poorer service”.

The news comes after Unite called off strikes by staff on a contract to provide check-in services for Easyjet at Stansted airport.

Workers at Heathrow airport temporarily suspended strikes last week to allow time to vote on a new pay deal, however walk-outs planned for 5-6 and 23-24 August are still on the cards as mediation continues.

Pilots for both Ryanair and British Airways are also threatening strikes in separate rows over pay and conditions.

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