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Plan your travel accordingly as workers at this London airport are observing strike

07:40 PM | 14 Jul, 2023
Plan your travel accordingly as workers at this London airport are observing strike

LONDON - The travel chaos in the ‘developed’ part of the world seems to be never-ending as another London airport is bracing itself for a strike. 

Around a thousand workers are set to take eight days of strike action at Gatwick Airport over the summer holidays in a dispute over pay, the Unite union has confirmed.

The strike comes amid arguably the busiest summer period since the pandemic when globetrotters are gearing up to unwind.

The workers, at four firms, including baggage handlers and ground staff will observe a strike from July 28 to August 1 and then again from August 4 to August 8.

As far as the airlines to bear the brunt are concerned, British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair, Tui, Westjet and Wizz would be affected.

Unite said the disruption, delays, and cancellations were "inevitable". On the other hand, a spokesperson for Gatwick said it would "support the airlines affected... with their contingency plans to ensure that as many flights as possible operate as scheduled".

The workers who are set to strike represent more than half of the ground handling staff at Gatwick, a Unite spokesman said.

It is to be clarified that the staff is not employed by Gatwick Airport directly but it works at four firms: ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS and DHL Services. These companies offer services to major airlines, including ground handling, baggage handling, and check-in work.

The carriers have also expressed displeasure over the strike. An EasyJet spokesperson said the airline was "extremely disappointed" by news of the walkout.

"More talks between our ground handler DHL and Unite are taking place early next week to try and resolve the issue and we urge them to reach an agreement as soon as possible," the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson at DHL said it was "working closely" with Unite to reach a conclusion.

As far as the demands are concerned, Unite says most of the workers earn under £12 per hour "despite undertaking highly demanding and safety-critical roles".

"During the pandemic, many companies at Gatwick Airport made large-scale redundancies and cut the pay and conditions of their remaining staff," it added.

Unite has been demanding a pay rise for members, and in June it called off strike action by security staff at Heathrow, after securing a new deal.

The strike at Gatwick will put further pressure on the embattled aviation industry as it deals with restricted airspace over Ukraine due to Russia's war and the possibility of air traffic control strikes.

The travel industry in Europe seems to be in a fix as there is a shortage of air traffic controllers, and some strikes are already planned. For instance, there is an air traffic strike in Italy on Saturday 15 July, which Ryanair has said is expected to cause cancellations and disruption.

Earlier this week, Easyjet canceled 1,700 flights during July, August and September citing constrained airspace over Europe and continuing air traffic control difficulties.

Moreover, about 100 airport security staff and technicians are set to walk out at Birmingham Airport from July 18 though the airport played down the concerns and said if a strike does take place, its effect would be limited, with no cancellations.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 13 April 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency remains largely same against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 13, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 12 April 2024

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