Bank Holiday strikes loom for Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Union members at Liverpool John Lennon Airport are set to walk out on strike over the coming busy Bank Holiday weekend.

Up to 80 members of the GMB union are staging the action after rejecting a 2% pay offer which, they say, will lead to a real terms pay cut.

The UK inflation rate rose to 2.5% earlier this week.

The union is demanding a 3.6% pay rise.

Roles affected include aviation rescue and fire fighting services, the control room, engineering and driver operations and airport bird control.

Staff will walk out in a 36 hour strike at 7pm on Thursday, August 23, until 7am on Saturday, August 25.

This will be followed by a further 12 hours of strike action beginning at 7am on Monday, September 3.

Further strike dates will follow.

GMB members voted for the industrial action, which they say is their first this century.

GMB organiser Eddie Parker said: “Liverpool Airport Ltd has failed to meet the aspirations of the GMB members, who have rejected the company’s proposed below inflation pay offer of 2%.

“We have informed the company strike action will not be suspended unless a 3.6% increase is offered.

“The company has allegedly employed outside third party companies to undertake the responsibilities presently undertaken by the aviation rescue and firefighting service and bird control personnel.

“GMB is currently unaware whether the outside agency workers have the necessary specialised skill set and personal fitness standards required to undertake these specialist roles.

“Whilst Liverpool Airport Ltd has financially invested in developing the airport over recent years, the same, sadly, cannot be said of their investment in their employees who have had enough of being taken for granted by their employer.”

Airport chiefs say talks to resolve the dispute will continue, and that measures are in place to ensure that any strike action will not impact passengers.

The airport company said its pay proposal included a 2% pay increase, back-dated to April 1, plus a £150 one-off payment.

But it claimed that, out of 60 GMB union members who voted, 36 chose to reject the company’s latest pay offer and have voted for strike action.

Bosses say they are “very disappointed” with the result of the ballot and believe the pay proposal compares favourably with pay increases seen by many other private and public sector organisations.

An airport company statement said: “All airport employees receive an excellent package of terms and conditions of employment, including health care, sickness benefits and a generous pension scheme.”

It added: “Talks between the airport and the GMB to resolve this pay dispute will continue, however plans are in place that will ensure there is no impact on the passenger experience and that it remains business as usual during this time.”