London Southend Airport reassures passengers over strike action

London Southend Airport says flights will not be affected by strike action planned by firefighters b

London Southend Airport says flights will not be affected by strike action planned by firefighters belonging to the GMB union. - Credit: Archant

London Southend Airport says there will be no disruption to services as a result of strike action by some of its firefighters which is due to start tomorrow.

Members of the GMB union have voted to go on strike throughout the Christmas and New Year period, until January 6, having rejected a pay offer described by the union as “derisory”.

The GMB says its members at Southend Airport are paid between £4,000 and £6,000 less a year compared with fire personnel at equivalent airports.

Gary Pearce, GMB regional organiser, had challenged Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, which owns the airport, to meet today “in an attempt to avert” disruption.

But the company said in a statement: “London Southend Airport wishes to reassure its passengers that there will be absolutely no disruption to planned services during the festive period.

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“The airport has contingencies in place to ensure that operations will continue completely uninterrupted in the event that this strike action goes ahead.”

It added: “Members of the fire service at London Southend Airport are aware that an increment of 4.5% of annual salary will be paid to airport staff from March 1, 2018.

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“This is above the RPI plus 1% increase requested in writing by the GMB. Therefore, the trade union is calling for strike action for a pay award lower than one already agreed and implemented with all other airport staff.”

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