Gatwick Airport to be hit by more strikes during summer holidays as ground staff confirm walkouts

Unite has announced strikes by ground handlers and passenger assistance workers at Gatwick Airport later this month in a row over pay.

The union claimed the industrial action which will involve more than 230 workers, will cause "severe disruption".

Unite members working for ground handling company Red Handling will walk out for four days from August 18, and a further four days from August 25, which includes the August bank holiday weekend.

Members of the union employed by Wilson James, which operates Gatwick's passenger assistance contract, will walk out for three days from August 18, and a further three days from August 22.

Unite recently called off a series of strikes by its members at the airport after reaching agreements on pay disputes.

Unite is predicting the strikes will cause 'severe disruption' for holidaymakers at Gatwick Airport. Credit: ITV Meridian

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Red Handling and Wilson James need to wake up and smell the coffee, other employers at the airport are prepared to pay the going rate and there is no excuse why they shouldn’t do the same.

"There is no way our members will accept a real terms pay cut and poverty pay.

"Unite’s complete focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members will mean that our members at Gatwick will receive the union’s unflinching support."

Red Handling is responsible for ground handling for Norse Atlantic, Norwegian, Delta, TAP Air Portugal and Saudi.

During the first four-day strike action, Unite is estimating 216 flights could be disrupted or delayed, affecting approximately 45,000 passengers.

Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell said: "The strike action is set to cause severe disruption throughout Gatwick Airport, but this dispute is totally of the employers’ own making, they have been given every opportunity to make our members a fair pay offer but have failed to do so.

"The companies need to stop prevaricating and make an offer which meets our members’ expectations."

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