Security staff threaten to ground flights at Leeds Bradford

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Security staff threaten to ground flights at Leeds Bradford

Security staff have voted for strike action at Leeds Bradford Airport, Jet2’s UK base.

Ryanair, TUI, KLM and a number of other airlines also operate from Leeds Bradford.

Staff have voted to walk out later this month unless they see a ‘substantial’ increase in pay.

If the industrial action goes ahead, it is likely to cause further disruption at the airport, which is already warning of longer than usual security queues.

The airport has previously apologised to customers for long delays.

The GMB union said a strike could force the grounding of flights just ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, affecting thousands of passengers.

Its members, who voted 90% in favour of industrial action, are due to walk out on 24, 25 and 26 August.

However, a spokesperson for Leeds Bradford told the Yorkshire Post that less than 25% of security strike would be involved in the proposed industrial action.

In a statement, the GMB said: “Management at the airport have implemented discretionary and performance related bonuses – without union involvement – which is inaccessible to many security staff and goes nowhere near addressing the rising cost of living. 

“GMB is calling for an immediate substantial increase in the hourly rate of pay for security staff. 

“GMB members will walk out at the end of August if a meaningful offer to increase their pay is not forthcoming, which could leave thousands of passengers grounded. 

“GMB Union has worked closely with management throughout the pandemic – agreeing to delay a negotiated pay increase in April 2020, accepting temporary reductions in pay, accommodating changes to working hours and exploring ways to avoid compulsory redundancies.  

“As the sector recovers, members feel that they have got nothing in return, with many struggling on minimum wage amid the worst cost of living crisis for decades. 

“Work pressures caused by chronic under staffing across the sector is the final straw, prompting security officers to vote overwhelmingly to take action – they are no longer prepared to endure very poor pay for very weighty responsibilities. 

Rachel Dix, GMB Organiser, said:  “This is a powerful result, with a very high response rate – most of the votes were cast over the first two days of the ballot such was the strength of feeling and motivation of our members to ensure that they are finally heard.  

“All they are asking for is a wage which will afford them a decent standard of living.

“Our members have been incredibly patient but the discretionary performance related bonuses that have been offered are not trusted, too late in the day and are no substitute for an hourly pay increase.  

“They are not prepared to wait any longer for the respect and renumeration they deserve from their employer, but they are genuinely open to constructive negotiation that will pave the way to a satisfactory resolution.”   

Travel Gossip has asked Leeds Bradford Airport and Jet2 for a comment.

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