The Unite national officer Oliver Richardson had this to say:
– Oliver Richardson, Unite national officer
In the light of this overwhelming mandate for action, Swissport has requested talks which we are happy to attend so we can try to resolve this matter.
The dispute centres on the company's decision to freeze workers pay for 18 months, from April 2012 through to October 2013, followed by a below inflation increase of just 2.5%.
Our members are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and Unite believes Swissport is failing to recognise the contribution its staff are making to the success of the company."
Urgent talks will take place tomorrow to try to stop strike action by baggage handlers and check-in staff at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted airports.
Workers from the ground handling company Swissport, based at the four airports, have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.
According to Unite the union, 94% of workers balloted voted in favour of a walk-out.
Swissport's clients include:
- Stansted airport: Ryanair, Thomas Cook and Thomson
- Manchester airport: Monarch, Thomson, Thomas Cook and Virgin Emirates
- Gatwick airport: Monarch, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Virgin and British Airways
- Heathrow airport: Virgin