Strikes to affect 200,000 travellers at Luton Airport

Union workers from a range of positions may stop work over the spring bank holiday weekend

200,000 passengers travelling in or out of Luton Airport over the spring bank holiday weekend may face disruptions as union members from a range of position are planning industrial action over pay and the use of zero hours’ contracts.

The actions at Luton Airport might affect up to 200,000 travellers — oriontrail / Shutterstock Hundreds of thousands of passengers travelling in or out of the Luton Airport over the Bank Holiday weekend may face disruptions as union members from a range of position are planning an industrial action over pay and zero hours' contracts
The actions at Luton Airport might affect up to 200,000 travellers — oriontrail / Shutterstock

The strikes are planned to start at 7am on Friday 25 May and continue to 6.30am on Wednesday 30 May.  

Firefighters will stop work for 24 hours from 7am on Friday 25 May. Ground staff, including baggage handlers, plan to strike from 3am on Saturday 26 May to 2pm on Sunday.

Security staff will stop work from 3am on Monday 28 May to 5am on Tuesday. Assistance staff working for Clece Care Services will strike for two days straight, from 5am on Monday to Wednesday 30 May.

Staff working in air operations and engineering have called a 24-hour strike from 6.30am on Tuesday 29 May.

“We are disappointed that Unite members have chosen this course of action and recognise the uncertainty this news will cause for our passengers,” a spokesperson for Luton Airport said.

“We are working with the 73 per cent of staff who did not vote to strike, to mitigate the impact of any action.

“We also remain committed to continuing discussions with Unite in the interim before any such action can take place. We will keep passengers regularly updated via our website.”

Barcelona’s air traffic controllers to strike in June

Industrial actions will also disrupt the operation at Barcelona’s El Prat airport. The Air-Traffic Controllers’ Union has called 24-hour strikes for June 20 because of an ongoing dispute over staffing levels.

he Air-Traffic Controllers' Union has called 24-hour strikes for June 20 at Barcelona — El Stoyan Yotov / Shutterstock Hundreds of thousands of passengers travelling in or out of the Luton Airport over the Bank Holiday weekend may face disruptions as union members from a range of position are planning an industrial action over pay and zero hours' contracts — ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock
The Air-Traffic Controllers’ Union has called 24-hour strikes for June 20 at Barcelona El Prat — El Stoyan Yotov / Shutterstock

The air traffic controllers claim to have been forced to work extra hours because there are not enough employees to cover flight traffic.

“The shortage of supervisors in the control towers has become chronic and, despite the calls to Enaire to hire new recruits, they won’t be in place in time to ease the intense work schedule of high season,” explained a statement on the USCA website. 

“This is not a pessimistic forecast, it is realistic,” said Pau Mari, the USCA spokesman.

The decision to call 24-hour strikes during the summer has significant support among the union members with 85 percent of them (255 out of 300) saying they would join the action.