July 11, 2019 / 5:12 PM / 2 months ago

Stobart's Easyjet contracted employees at Stansted to strike

(Reuters) - Britain’s Unite Union said on Thursday Stansted airport check-in staff at Easyjet Plc (EZJ.L) will go on strike for over a fortnight starting in July, as employees demand similar pay to other companies that operate at the airport.

Unite is representing 43 passenger service agents employed by Stobart Aviation Services, which in turn has a contract with Easyjet at the airport.

The strike, during the busy summer holiday season, would begin on July 25 and would last in batches until Aug. 27, the UK and Ireland's largest union said in a statement bit.ly/2LP3nJE.

Easyjet said in an emailed statement that if the strikes go ahead, the airline will have contingency plans in place so that there would be no impact on passengers.

Stobart Aviation Services has, and will continue to engage with Unite and its representatives to reach an agreement on union recognition for front of house teams at Stansted, Stobart said in a statement, adding contingency plans were in place.

“We will continue to engage directly with Unite in order to deliver an agreement,” the company said.

“The low paid workers voted unanimously to strike over the company’s refusal to pay wages in line with similar companies at Stansted, the refusal to recognise Unite as a trade union for collective bargaining purposes, and a breakdown in industrial relations”, Unite said.

The main issue the employees have is that workers at other companies at the airport are being paid up to 20% more for doing the same job, Unite said, adding that members also experienced staffing issues, a lack of basics such as drinking water during long shifts, among other problems.

Unite said it held talks with Stobart Aviation last week and Stobart said there was no money for a pay rise until next year.

“Despite sending over a draft recognition agreement a week ago, the company has only just responded today (Thursday) to say that it is about to look at it,” Unite said.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans

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