Around 55 drivers based at Gatwick Airport and employed by inflight food supplier Alpha Flight have voted to accept a two-year pay deal.
The deal, which was negotiated with trade union Unite on behalf of its members, is applicable for Alpha Flight drivers delivering inflight food for airline British Airways at Gatwick Airport.
Unite members employed by Alpha Flight will receive an 18% pay increase and a 30-minute reduction in the working week as part of the two-year deal. Employees will also be awarded with an additional £420 lump sum, with final payments being delivered in November 2019.
Alpha Flight initially offered a 6% pay increase, but this was rejected in a consultative ballot. Unite members were then due to undertake strike action between Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March 2019; however, further pay talks resulted in the improved two-year pay deal, which was voted on and accepted by Alpha Flight drivers.
The agreement will see drivers’ wages increase to £12.70 an hour, compared to £10.64 an hour currently, according to Unite.
Jamie Major, regional officer at Unite, said: “By displaying complete unity, our members have secured an excellent pay deal, which ensures their earnings are in line with local HGV drivers’ earnings.
“Alpha Flight is the first [organisation] at Gatwick Airport to take the argument for paying a market rate for HGV drivers seriously. By introducing a market rate for drivers, Alpha Flight has now established itself as the market leader for HGV driver pay on the Gatwick campus.
“Unite will now be working to ensure that other employers at Gatwick also boost drivers’ pay and introduce a market rate.”
Alpha Flight was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.