Gatwick Airport: Strikes set to trigger over 200 flight disruptions across eight days of chaos

Queues in Gatwick Airport

Gatwick, London's busiest airport, will see staff walk out in August

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 09/08/2023

- 13:48

Updated: 09/08/2023

- 15:02

The eight-day walkout will affect more than 200 flights

Gatwick airport has just announced more strikes this month, including over the August bank holiday, with around 230 staff members planning to walk out over pay disputes.

Unite, the trade union, announced the news this morning, warning of flight disruptions as a result of the eight-day walkout.

London’s second busiest airport will be heavily disrupted over the August bank holiday, a popular time for holidaymakers to jet off to make the most of the long weekend.

The walkout will last from August 18 to 28, and Unite have said that it will disrupt or delay over 200 flights across the first four days.

Passengers in front of a Gatwick sign

Around 230 airport workers will take part in the industrial action


Those taking part in the industrial action include ground handlers, passenger assistance and other airport workers.

The strikers have been negotiating with various employers over pay disputes.

These employers include Red Handling, Wilson James, Menzies and ASC, all in different pay disagreements.

Some planned strikes were called off last months, after workers received pay offers to their satisfaction.

Yet this morning, workers from Red Handling, a ground handling company and Wilson James, who operate the passenger assistance contract at the airport, announced they would be striking.

"Red Handling and Wilson James need to wake up and smell the coffee, other employers at the airport are prepared to pay the going rate and there is no excuse why they shouldn’t do the same," Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.

"There is no way our members will accept a real terms pay cut and poverty pay.

“Unite’s complete focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members will mean that our members at Gatwick will receive the union’s unflinching support,” she concluded.

The strikes will be split into tranches, with the first Red Handling walkout beginning at 00:01 on August 18 and concluding at 23:59 on August 21. Their second strike will begin on 00:01 on Friday 25 August, ending at 23:59 on Monday 28 August.

Plane prepares to land at Gatwick

Those taking part in the industrial action include ground handlers, passenger assistance and other airport workers.


The strikes at Wilson James will begin at 00:01 on Friday 18 August ending at 23:59 on Sunday 20 August and then from 00:01 on Tuesday 22 August ending on Thursday 24 August at 23:59.

Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell said: “The strike action is set to cause severe disruption throughout Gatwick Airport, but this dispute is totally of the employers’ own making, they have been given every opportunity to make our members a fair pay offer but have failed to do so.

“The companies need to stop prevaricating and make an offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

The announcement of industrial action is not a surprising one for Brits.

Workers all across the country have been striking since last year, demanding better pay conditions that are in line with high inflation.

Gatwick Airport have not yet responded for a request for a comment.

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