Strike at airport looms large

Ground staff at London City airport look set to take strike action over terms and conditions after talks with ACAS failed to resolve their issues.

The staff were given the go-ahead to for a strike ballot by the GMB last week but now the union and ACAS are appealing to CityJet to come to the negotiating table. The union met with Aviation Resources with ACAS representatives on Monday but concluded that they need to talk to CityJet to make any headway.

The talks could take place on March 9 or 15.

The union says the dispute is about pay, treatment, and terms and conditions of employment for the staff who are employed by an agency, Aviation Resources, and provide checking in and dispatch services for the airlines CityJet, Air France and KLM.

The union has said CityJet has refused to sanction a pay rise given the level of inflation since 2008. The employer Aviation Resources is wholly reliant on each airline for the pay and conditions of employment of the staff they supply.

The union also says CityJet has insisted that part-time mothers lose the flexible rosters that they have ahd over the past years and go on to general rosters.

GMB members have already voted by 97 per cent for industrial action in a consultative ballot of all the members working on the CityJet contract at London City Airport.

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Stephanie Attwood, GMB organiser, said: “Talks took place at Acas between GMB and Aviations Resources. However, it became clear that progress could not be made without CityJet, which holds the purse strings and is demanding the changes, being present at the talks.

A spokeswoman for CityJet said: “We are glad that formal discussions have started and that ARL has asked us to join them at the next meeting. We are happy to attend and facilitate and help ARL in any capacity in these discussions.”