Cleaners announce strike action at Manchester Airport over low pay

20 October 2017

Cleaners announce strike action at Manchester Airport over low pay

20 October 2017

Low paid cleaners at Manchester Airport employed by Mitie Cleaning and Environmental Services have given notice that they intend to stage a series of escalating strikes in their campaign for fair pay.

The workers will stage a series of nine strikes during November, December and the beginning of January (see notes to editors). Last month 100 per cent of the cleaners who took part in the industrial action ballot voted in favour of strike action. The first strike which begins on 3 November is for 24 hours but the duration of the strikes will increase with the final strike scheduled to begin on 18 December and end on 12 January.

Most workers are currently being paid just the minimum wage (£7.50)  and are demanding an increase just above the living wage (currently at £8.45) and an extra £1 an hour backdated to April 2016.

The workforce rejected a revised offer made by the company on the basis that the workforce have already endured a two year pay freeze and the offer did not go far enough in addressing poverty pay. Plus, a quarter of the workforce were offered no increase at all, meaning a three year pay freeze for a significant proportion of the workers.

If the strike goes ahead the stoppage would bring cleaning services at Britain’s third busiest airport to a virtual standstill putting its reputation as the UK’s best airport at risk (see notes to editors).

Unite regional officer, Jimmy Carter said: “It is time to address the scourge of poverty pay for cleaners at Britain’s third busiest airport. Mitie’s latest pay offer does not go far enough to eliminate poverty pay and a significant proportion of the workforce were offered no increase at all.

“Keeping Britain’s third busiest airport clean is hard work, after a two year pay freeze workers have had enough. Workers are urging Mitie to return to the negotiating table to avoid a strike which could run into December and January.

“Most workers are struggling to make ends meet on the minimum wage and are demanding a living wage to afford the basics like food and rent. It’s time for Mitie to become a living wage employer.”

Mitie employs around 200 cleaners at the airport.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

On a turnout of 73 per cent, 100 per cent of the workers who took part in the ballot voted for strike action.

Strike dates

  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 3 November 2017 & concluding at 05:59 hours on 4 November 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 6 November 2017 & concluding at 05:59 hours on 8 November 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 9 November 2017 &  concluding at 05:59 hours on 11 November 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 13 November 2017 &  concluding at 05:59 hours on 18 November 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 20 November 2017 & concluding at 05:59 hours on 25 November 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 27 November 2017 & concluding at 05:59 hours on 2 December 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 4 December 2017 & concluding at 05:59 hours on 9 December 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 11 December 2017 & concluding at 05:59 hours on 16 December 2017
  • Commencing at 06:00 hours on 18 December 2017 & concluding at 21:59 hours on 12  January 2018
  • Manchester Airport was named the UK’s best airport at the Travel Bulletin Star Awards early in September .

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