EasyJet passengers’ travel plans could be hit by strike action at Stansted airport later this year.
The Unite union, which represents 38 Stobart Aviation check-in staff at Stansted, is in dispute with the airport over pay and conditions.
Stobart operates the easyJet check-in contract at the Essex airport.
Unite is balloting Stobart Aviation members on whether they wish to take action to seek wages matching those paid by similar companies operating at Stansted. According to Unite, this discrepancy ranges up to 20%.
The union is also in dispute with Stobart over its refusal to recognise Unite and a “breakdown in industrial relations”.
TTG has contacted Stobart Aviation for comment.
Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “If our members working on the easyJet contract vote to strike, this will cause severe disruption for the airline’s passengers trying to check in for their summer holidays.”
Barter said Unite’s Stobart members work unpaid overtime and experience staffing issues. “They feel undervalued and are paid dismally,” said Barter.
“Our members were transferred from Menzies to Stobart about a year ago and, despite having a recognition agreement that should have carried over, Stobart bosses have blanked Unite when it comes to trade union recognition – this is unacceptable.
“There is time before the ballot result on 2 July for easyJet to exert pressure on Stobart to settle these issues.”
Barter added Stobart had contacted Unite to discuss the issues on Thursday (20 June) and stressed the union hoped the matters could be resolved without strike action.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “EasyJet is aware of the proposed ballot on industrial action by Unite for check-in staff at London Stansted Airport. If industrial action is confirmed we will have contingency plans in place so that there would be no impact on our passengers.”
A Stansted spokesperson added the airport would discuss the situation with both Stobart and easyJet to formulate any mitigation plans.
They added the action would be limited to easyJet’s operations at the airport.