London Luton Airport security staff started the first of two scheduled strikes today, Wednesday. The initial phase of industrial action, instigated by members of trade union Unite, began at 4.30am and will last until May 5, at 8.59pm. A second stint of action will then be held from May 7 at 4.30am, after the Bank Holiday travel has subsided. This strike, if it goes ahead as planned, will last until May 13, at 8.59pm.
What has budget airline easyJet, which operates from London Luton Airport, said of the impact of strikes on passengers?
A spokesperson exclusively told Express.co.uk: “easyJet has been advised of planned industrial action by Unite security staff at London Luton Airport on May 7.
“easyJet will operate its normal schedule and does not expect this to have an impact on services.
“However, we recommend that all customers flying to or from Luton check the status of their flight on our Flight Tracker page.”
Express.co.uk has requested comment from fellow budget airline Ryanair, which also flies in and out of the terminal.
What has London Luton Airport said about the impact of today’s strike?
A London Luton Airport spokesman told Express.co.uk: “The action involves a small number of security staff, and there has been no disruption to passengers this morning with an average wait time in security of five minutes.
“We are focussed on minimising the impact on passengers and remain open to further talks with Unite.”
They added: “We are disappointed Unite is pressing ahead with industrial action, however we have robust contingency plans in place to minimise disruption to passengers.
“We remain open to further talks with Unite, but they have declined our requests to meet.”
Why are Unite security staff at London Luton Airport striking?
Airport security staff claim there have been “heavy handed” changes to working time which would lead to working an 15 extra days a year.
The proposed shift patterns would affect approximately 120 security guards.
Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Luton Airport is taking a very heavy handed approach by trying to force security guards to work an extra 15 days.
“As a result the report has now provoked strike action over the bank holiday weekend.”
According to a press release from Unite – 95 percent of workers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.