Workers strike over ‘heavy-handed’ changes to shifts

Security guards working at the Council owned Airport  have been in a long running dispute including strike action over ‘heavy-handed’ changes to working time.

The  concessionaire LLAOL who run the airport on behalf of the council is imposing a new shift pattern affecting around 120 security guards which means the workforce are having to work an extra 15 days a year. Workers say the new shift pattern is taking a heavy toll on their well-being.

The new shift pattern means:

• Working an extra 15 days and only getting 9 full weekends free a year

• Workers have less rest time between shifts

• Workers incurring additional costs in childcare and travel that impacts workers with caring responsibilities.

95 per cent of the workers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Security guards are determined to fight back against Luton Airport’s heavy-handed and antisocial shift changes. Management are trying to force staff to work for longer, with shorter breaks, while piling extra costs on the workforce. The airport management have even callously cut the amount of free weekends workers get to spend with their friends and family.  The airport needs to take responsibility for the staff shortages by doing what’s needed to recruit new staff rather than heaping all the burden on its workforce”

This is just the latest example of how people working at the airport are forced into draconian working practices with many airport workers struggling to make ends meet with short hour and low paid contracts while others are forced to work extended hours as the airport struggles to find new employees who are prepared to work 24/7 shift patterns.   

With the council wanting to build a second terminal and doing nothing to enforce a living wage or acceptable working hours they are turning a blind eye to airport workers being exploited so wealthy airlines can be offered even bigger discounts.

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