London: Almost 1,000 workers at London’s Gatwick airport will go on strike for eight days in July and August after the union said it had failed to come to an agreement with ground handling companies.
British Airways, Ryanair Holdings, EasyJet, Wizz Air, TUI and Westjet are expected to see services affected when 950 workers employed by ground handlers ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS and DHL Services walk out from July 28 to August 1, and then from August 4 to August 8, the Unite union said in a statement on Friday. These dates spread across two weekends this summer amid the peak travel period.
The industrial action will “inevitably cause severe delays, disruption and cancellations” across the UK’s second biggest airport, Unite said. More than 4,400 flights are scheduled to take off from Gatwick across the strike days, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.
While aviation is surging from the lows of the pandemic, concern is growing about a repeat of chaos seen last year during the busy peak travel season. Industrial action has already forced disruptions this summer after air traffic controllers in France and Switzerland walked out over working conditions, and Eurocontrol, which manages air space in Europe, last week warned of more disruptions this summer over threatened strikes in Brussels.
Security workers at London’s larger Heathrow airport ended strike action after agreeing a wage deal last month. The UK has seen walkouts by train drivers, teachers, junior doctors and nurses as surging cost of living and high inflation take their toll.