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easyJet Passengers Are Being Advised to Pack Their Own Lunch as a Catering Worker Strike Means Flights From Gatwick Will Go Without Any Food

easyJet Passengers Are Being Advised to Pack Their Own Lunch as a Catering Worker Strike Means Flights From Gatwick Will Go Without Any Food

an airplane on the runway

Passengers travelling with easyJet to or from Gatwick Airport over 12 days between late April and mid-May are being advised to come well prepared with their own lunch as flights could depart without any food or drink because of a strike by the airline’s contracted catering workers.

The workers are employed by Dnata, a subsidiary of Dubai’s Emirates Group, who are unhappy with the company’s decision to remove a lucrative shift allowance that means catering staff are losing out between £1,500 and £2,000 per year.

The Unite union claims Dnata falsely claimed that the decision to remove the shift allowance had been agreed by the union in return for a special night premium payment, although Unite says it never sanctioned the change.

Around 100 workers, including warehouse workers who pack easyJet’s trolleys with good and drinks and the truck drivers that bring the trolleys to the aircraft, have voted to go on strike starting on 26th April.

Workers will initially walk out for four days from 26th April to 29th April, before returning to work for just four days before starting a second four-day strike between 3rd May and 6th May. There will then be another four-day pause before a third four-day strike begins on 10th May through to 13th May.

Of course, it looks like the union has deliberately timed the strike action over weekends when leisure travellers are most likely to indulge and take advantage of easyJet’s buy onboard range.

“Our members have run out of patience with Dnata’s double-dealing and blatant dishonesty,” slammed Unite general secretary Sharon Graham on Friday.

“Ending the shift allowance in return for a night premium was never part of the deal and the company knows that,” Graham continued. “Unite never accepts attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and Dnata’s workers have their union’s total backing during these strikes.”

Along with easyJet, the union warns that the strike action could sit several other Gatwick-based carriers, including TUI Airways.

In response to the strike threat, a spokesperson for Dnata said the company was “surprised” and hoped that a negotiated outcome would be forthcoming.

In an emailed statement, Dnata said: “We are surprised and disappointed by the premature statement issued by trade union Unite regarding a proposed industrial action at London Gatwick airport, stemming from a single point of disagreement where consensus has yet to be reached.”

“We remain committed and open to constructive dialogue and are confident that this matter will be resolved. In the meantime, we are keeping our valued customers informed throughout this process.”

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