Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton Airport: Security staff to strike again over shifts

London Luton Airport Image copyright LDN
Image caption Luton Airport says it has contingency plans in place to minimise disruption during strikes

Security staff at Luton Airport are to go on strike again in a row over what they say are "heavy-handed" changes to shift patterns.

Unite union members will walk out from Thursday to 3 June, including the Bank Holiday weekend.

It is their second strike in a month, having also walked out between 1 and 5 May, then again from 7 until 13 May.

The airport said "contingency plans" were in place.

Unite says the new shift pattern, which affects up to 120 security guards, could lead to staff working an extra 15 days.

However, the airport says that under their previous shift pattern the affected security staff were working "slightly less" than their contracted hours.

'Unsocial hours'

The union's regional officer, Jeff Hodge, said: "Security guards at Luton Airport are preparing to step-up their campaign against management's heavy-handed changes.

"The airport is trying to force their staff to work significantly more unsocial hours. Workers will only get nine weekends a year.

"Unite believes the recruitment of security staff has not matched increasing passenger numbers and the airport is heaping the burden on its existing staff."

'Contingency plans'

The union said it wanted Luton Airport to suspend the implementation of the new shift pattern to allow for further talks.

An airport spokesman said: "During previous action by the same group of Unite members earlier this month, there was no disruption to passengers with average wait times of five minutes.

"We have the same robust contingency plans in place this time and remain open to further discussions with Unite."

The airport said it gave staff affected by the shift changes a vote on different options and accepted the outcome.

However, it said Unite responded with a proposal that was "not in the best interest of our people".

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