“No money for pay rise, have a barbecue” – workers ballot after bizarre offer from Gatwick bosses

barbecueAlmost 200 Unite members working at Gatwick airport are being balloted for strike action after being told there was no money for a pay rise … but there was money for a staff barbecue.

The workers are employed on the Norwegian airline baggage handling contract by Omni Serv, tendered by Red Handling.

Unite understands that it is Red Handling which is making the key decisions on pay. Rather than offer a pay increase, Red Handling suggested that a company barbecue was a suitable alternative.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “Workers want bucks, not burgers. Our members are not going to be palmed off with a few burnt sausages on a barbecue, instead of a pay rise. Our members need to be able to afford to eat every day.

“The annual pay rise was due in May. Since then, the employer has made a derisory offer which has been overwhelmingly rejected by our members.

“I have extended an invitation to meet with the company to avoid strike action, if it agreed to put a fair offer on the table, but even this overture that has been ignored.

“Omni Serv and Red Handling’s refusal to constructively engage in discussing an increase in basic pay shows that they are treating our members with contempt.

“Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption for Norwegian’s passengers at Gatwick airport. Our members only consider taking strike action as a last resort. This dispute is of Red Handling and, therefore, Norwegian’s own making.

“This dispute can still be averted if Red Handling and Norwegian are prepared to ensure our members receive a fair pay offer.”

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