Stansted Airport security scanner staff to go on strike

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

Security scanner operators at Stansted Airport are set to hold industrial action, though airport bosses say it will not affect passengers.

The 30 members of the GMB trade union, working for Mitie, who operate the security scanners for check in luggage have voted to walk out on Sunday (August 23) and bank holiday Monday (August 31) in a dispute over pay.

Workers are striking to support their claim for a three per cent pay rise after rejecting a 1.5 per cent increase offer. In the vote, which had an 80 per cent turnout, 87 per cent were in favour of the strike.

The strike is set to affect all airline passengers, the largest of which are Easyjet and Ryanair, however Mitie says it has back up plans in place if the action is to go ahead, which will mitigate any impact on travellers.

The company added it intended to talk to GMB through independent conciliator ACAS to form a resolution to avoid the planned strike action.

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Gary Pearce, GMB organiser, said “Mitie shareholders saw a seven per cent increase in dividends for 2014 and Mitie achieved a 13.5 per cent increase in profits after tax which compares to 1.5 per cent pay offer rejected by members.

“The total cost to the company of the three per cent rise pay is around £24,000 per year. A pay rise of this level for GMB members who protect the security of thousands of air travellers is clearly very responsible and the company can afford it.

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“The 1.5 per cent offer rejected is less than the average pay rise in the private sector of 2.7 per cent.

“GMB members, who through their hard work and expertise, have created the welcome increase in Mitie’s profits should share in that success.”

A spokesman for Mitie said: “We have just been informed by the union of two potential dates for strike action. We are hopeful that this can be resolved using ACAS over the next few days but in the event that industrial action does happen we have contingency plans in place.”

A Stansted Airport spokesman added: “Mitie has advised it hopes to resolve this situation over the next few days but if planned periods of industrial action by members of the GMB union go ahead they will have appropriate contingency plans in place so it is unlikely there will be any disruption to hold baggage screening services for airlines at the airport as a result.”

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