Luton airport strikes: When are they, why are they striking and will my flight be delayed or cancelled?

Union members are striking over shift patterns

Luton Airport.
Luton Airport.

Luton Airport security staff are striking this week. Here’s what you need to know.

When is the strike?

Security guards employed by London Luton are striking for 13 days during May. The walkout starts today, 1 May, and will continue until Sunday 5 May at 8.59pm. It then resumes on Tuesday 7 May at 4.30am and finishes on Monday 13 May at 8.59pm.

Taxi drivers are also striking today (1 May). Cab operator Addison Lee, which has an exclusive contract to operate taxis from in front of the terminal building, hiked commission rates to 35 per cent last autumn and charges drivers £210 per week to hire a vehicle, leaving some drivers paid just £4.72 per hour.

Drivers are staging a 24-hour walkout as a result, impacting travellers at Luton Airport from 5am on Wednesday.

Why are they striking?

Unite members who are responsible for searches, baggage checks and general security across the airport are striking over “heavy-handed” changes to shifts.

According to the union, the new shift pattern affects 120 guards and could mean staff end up working an extra 15 days a year.

“Luton Airport is taking a very heavy-handed approach by trying to force security guards to work an extra 15 days,” said Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge. “As a result the airport has now provoked strike action over the bank holiday weekend.

“Security guards at Luton Airport work hard and have an incredibly important job to do. The airport needs to take responsibility for the staff shortages by doing what’s needed to recruit new staff rather than heaping all the burden on to its workforce.”

Unite say it offered to put the strike on hold to allow talks to continue but that “management is pressing ahead with its changes.”

Will my flight be disrupted?

While Unite claims the strikes will cause “serious disruption”, Luton Airport says it had contingency plans in place.

An airport spokesperson said: “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 5 minutes. We are focussed on minimising the impact on passengers and remain open to further talks with Unite.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in