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Gatwick workers balloted over pay as possibility of strike action still looms

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Workers at Gatwick airport are to be balloted on an improved pay offer following eleventh hour negotiations.

Members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, employed as security guards, engineers, firefighters and admin staff are being recommended to accept a revised offer of 6.5 per cent in a proposed two year pay deal. The offer is for a four per cent increase backdated to October 2017 and then 2.5 per cent from October 2018. The increase is on basic pay and allowances.

Ballot papers for strike action were due to be sent out next Tuesday (3 April) after talks hosted by the conciliation service Acas, collapsed without agreement last week. However Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) management, resurrected negotiations today (29 March) and made the improved pay offer.

One staff member speaking anonymously said:

“Gatwick are not listening.  Making a million a day and bringing in new contract staff on less than others.”

The situation wasn’t helped by the fact that an internal notice about the new offer put up by Gatwick appeared to miss-state the situation.

The original statement read:

‘I’m pleased to say that we have now concluded these discussions and reached a deal that all parties are agreed.’

This angered many staff and after being told Gatwick did eventually change it to:

‘I’m pleased to say that all parties have reached a deal, which the unions have agreed to put to their members via a ballot.’

There is a 3 week balloting period after which a decision will be reached as to whether staff are to accept the revised proposals, but if not then strike action is certainly still a possibility.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said:

“The improved pay offer has been achieved as Unite members have shown total solidarity and demonstrated they would not be divided. Unite’s reps at GAL are a credit to the entire union.

“It is now up to members to decide whether they wish to endorse this pay offer.”

Gatwick

Brighton mainline closed this Sunday between Gatwick and Redhill

Rail engineering work will close all lines on the Brighton Mainline between Gatwick and Redhill on Sunday 27 January.

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  • Busses will run between Gatwick and both Redhill and East Grinstead, where trains can be caught to East Croydon, London and beyond
  • Direct trains to London Victoria will run every 30 minutes from the airport but these will divert via Horsham and will take much longer than normal
  • No Gatwick Express service will run on Sunday

The work is being carried out to improve the reliability and resilience of the Brighton mainline.

Rail replacement bus services will run between the airport and both Redhill and East Grinstead where passengers will be able to get trains to East Croydon, London and beyond.

A direct train service to London Victoria will run every 30 minutes from Gatwick, but these divert via Horsham and will take much longer than normal.  These services will also call at Clapham Junction, Horsham and Three Bridges.

No Gatwick Express service will run at all on Sunday 27 January.

All passengers traveling to and from the airport by rail are urged to plan ahead and to leave plenty of additional time to complete their journey. 

Further information can be found on National Rail’s journey planner at nationalrail.co.uk cent 5; \ls

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