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Strike action now possible at Gatwick Airport as union rejects pay offer

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An ‘overwhelming rejection’ by members of the UK and Ireland’s largest union Unite over a pay offer from the aiport has now increased the possibility of industrial action.

Negotiations over pay began last autumn when Gatwick Aiport Limited proposed a three year deal which woul see workers receive an increase of 2 per cent plus £250 for the first two years with the workforce receiving the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate and £250 in the final year.

Unite say that there is an ‘additional insult’ as the offer is conditional on the introduction of a new starter rate which would result in new starters being paid up to £7,000 per annum less than staff undertaking the same role.

Unite say over 2,000 members are employed as staff at the airport and include security staff, firefighters, engineers, terminal operatives and surface transport workers.

80 per cent of members turned out to vote and of them 98 per cent rejected the offer.

It it now down to more negotiations between the parties before a decision will be made on whether preparations will begin for a full industrial action ballot.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said:

“It is now incumbent on Gatwick Airport to come back with a dramatically improved pay offer which meets the workers’ pay claim.

“The airport is fantastically profitable as a result of the hard work of our members and they believe they should be properly rewarded for their hard work and loyalty.

“To even be suggesting the introduction of new starter rates, far below what workers already receive, demonstrates that the airport’s management is putting profits before people.

“Unite’s members have no desire to cause disruption to the travelling public but they will not allow their pay to be cut in real terms.”

Gatwick

Gatwick Airport further subsidises cut-price lateral flow and PCR tests for holiday-makers

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Gatwick Airport is supporting Britain’s return to travel by offering passengers significantly cheaper PCR tests, after announcing it would subsidise its on-site COVID-19 screening centres, operated by ExpressTest.

Two centres currently operate from Gatwick; a drive-in option located within the airport’s Perimeter Road South (RH6 0PQ) car park, and a walk-in centre situated within the North Terminal.

Gatwick had already subsidised ‘fit-to-fly’ on-site PCR tests since the drive-in centre opened in November last year, with the airport’s passengers and staff able to take a test for just £59.

But with the overall costs of PCR tests continuing to act as a barrier for travel for many families and the ongoing detrimental effect this is having on the aviation industry, Gatwick has decided to further reduce costs for passengers, by announcing further subsidised rates.

The following prices will be available exclusively for Gatwick passengers, via a designated discount code from Thursday 16 September 2021.   

Discount code: LGWBTT2

Lateral Flow Fit to Fly                         £2 Discount (£33 from £35)

Discount code: LGWBTT10

Green Arrivals Test                             £10 Discount (£59 from £69)

Amber Arrivals Test                            £10 Discount (£59 from £69)

PCR Test to Release Test                  £10 Discount (£59 from £69)

The PCR ‘Fit to Fly’ test will remain at the already subsidised price of £59.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said: Gatwick Airport recognises that the cost of PCR tests is prohibitive and acts as barrier preventing larger numbers from booking international travel. We are therefore pleased to be able to offer passengers a more cost-effective solution, conveniently located at the airport, to help people get away on a much-needed holiday, to visit loved ones abroad or travel for business.”

Gatwick has repeatedly called on Government to loosen the existing restrictions and abolish the need for double vaccinated travellers to green and amber countries to be tested altogether – to help increase bookings and ultimately preserve jobs in and around the airport.

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