British holidaymakers face chaos as gatwick staff threatens strike

Published on : Tuesday, October 18, 2016

british-holidaymakersBritish holidaymakers are facing potential travel chaos in the run up to Christmas after unions at Gatwick threatened to shut down the airport over a pension dispute.

 
Fire fighters, security staff and maintenance workers are gearing up to vote on strike action, after Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which owns Gatwick, said it would close their final salary pension scheme because of a reported £90million shortfall.

 
A security worker at the London airport said that GIP was trying to bulldoze the move through without a discussion with the unions. “If there is no fire service it could shut down the whole airport,” the worker said.

 
Earlier this year, Gatwick announced a 77 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £141million.
Unions preparing to vote on strike action would need to give Gatwick at least seven days notice before any walk out.

 
The south London airport is currently vying with Heathrow for permission to build a new runway, with a decision expected this month. Gatwick currently handles about 42 million passengers a year, but has a capacity for 45 million.

 
A spokesperson for Gatwick said: “Gatwick Airport, like any business, will regularly monitor reward packages to ensure that they remain competitive and safeguard the long-term future of our employees, passengers and local community.

 
“We fully appreciate that pensions are a personal and sensitive topic and it goes without saying that we are taking this forward in a collaborative manner. We will continue to engage, consult and collect the views of employees and encourage members of the defined benefits plan to use the consultation process to air views, understand the issues facing the scheme and ask questions.”

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