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28% pay rise for airport workers amid widespread public sector strikes

Over 200 workers at Luton Airport have received a pay rise.

London Luton, England. April 2019. A view inside Luton Airport in the UK
Baggage handlers and check-in staff at Luton Airport have received a pay rise. (Getty)

Workers at Luton Airport have secured a 28% pay rise amid widespread public sector strikes.

More than 200 workers, employed as baggage handlers and check-in staff, will receive a backdated pay rise of 20% from 1 October 2022, Unite announced on Wednesday.

From 1 February, pay will further increase by 8.5% and overtime rates will also increase in February, from time and a third, to time and a half, the union announced.

Unite revealed that the deal was secured for workers employed by Menzies during annual pay negotiations without the need for industrial action.

Read more: Hundreds of Amazon workers stage first-ever UK strike

Passengers visit London Luton Airport in the UK. It is UK's 5th busiest airport with 16.5 million annual passengers.
Unite revealed the deal was secured during annual pay negotiations and without the need for industrial action. (Getty)

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an excellent deal for our Menzies members at Luton airport and was possible because they stood together in a union.

“As this pay deal shows, Unite’s complete focus on defending and improving jobs, pay and conditions is paying dividends for our members.”

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge added: “This deal is another reminder that workers looking to better their wages and working conditions should become a Unite member and get their colleagues to do the same.”

In December, the threat of further strike action at Heathrow Airport was averted after Unite members employed as ground handlers by Menzies accepted an improved pay offer.

Read more: Rail strikes set to cause fresh travel disruption

More than 400 ground handlers took 72 hours of strike action in November and a further 72-hour strike was due to begin on 16 December, but was called off after Heathrow offered staff a wage increase of 9.5% backdated to May 2022 and then a further 1% from this month.

The UK has been hit by a barrage of industrial action as nurses, ambulance workers and primary school teachers strike over pay and conditions.

Border Force staff are preparing to strike next Wednesday and Thursday, with travellers warned they could face long queues when entering the UK.

The strike will take place from 1 February until 7 am on 2 February.

Nurses and ambulance staff will stage industrial action on 6 February in the ongoing row over pay and conditions in what is expected to be the biggest strike day in NHS history.