Gatwick airline catering strikes called off as workers consider new deal

The catering strikes would have affected easyJet flights from Gatwick (PA Archive)
The catering strikes would have affected easyJet flights from Gatwick (PA Archive)

Airline catering strikes at Gatwick have been suspended as workers vote on a new pay deal, a union has confirmed.

Members of Unite employed by Dnata had been scheduled to take strike action from April 26 until April 29 over pay, raising fears of a shortage of food and drink on flights departing the airport.

The action would have predominantly affected easyJet flights, though the airline said it had contingency plans in place in case of a strike.

Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell said: “Following an improved offer from dNata, Unite has suspended strikes in order to ballot its members on the new offer.”

The strikes by the company’s catering staff, which were also set to impact other airlines including TUI, were over the company’s “unilateral removal of a shift allowance for all staff last April”.

Unite said the move has led to all Dnata’s workers receiving a pay cut of between £1,500 and £2,000 per worker.

Dnata caters for all easyJet flights from Gatwick, with the airline having 200 flights a day during busy periods.

The action would have meant there would have been no food or drink available from Dnata on any of the airlines’ flights from the airport.

Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham accused Dnata of “double-dealing and blatant dishonesty” over the changes to the shift allowance.

easyJet, Dnata and Gatwick Airport were approached for comment.

In a previous statement, Dnata said that the industrial action had been caused by a “single point of disagreement where consensus has yet to be reached”.