Air Cargo Management

DHL workers at East Midlands Airport to strike over pay dispute

DHL Aviation workers at East Midlands Airport are set to strike in February after receiving a low pay offer.
photo_camera Credit: East Midlands Airport

DHL Aviation workers at East Midlands Airport are set to strike in February after receiving a low pay offer.

The 180 workers – who are members of the union Unite – undertake activities such as providing aircraft handling, ramp duties, and overseeing the tower at the airport.

According to Unite, workers are reported to be paid £10.96 an hour and have rejected a pay increase of 9.8%, which in effect is considered a pay cut, as the real rate of inflation (RPI) stood at 11.3% in April 2023 when the increase was due.

Unite states that the workers are particularly angered because the pay offer is reported to be less than what their counterparts at Bristol and Gatwick airports received.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “DHL Aviation is a multi-million-pound company, that can fully afford to make a vastly improved offer to our members.

“Unite is entirely focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workers at DHL Aviation will receive the union’s unflinching support.”

Unite states the walk-out is likely to disrupt other companies as the logistics firm oversees several cargo fleets at the airport including Emirates, MNG Airlines, Aerologic, and Formula One.

Melanie Todner, Unite regional officer, said: “The strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption throughout East Midlands Airport, but this dispute is entirely of DHL Aviation’s own making.

“Its pay offer is a kick in the teeth. Our members are committed to fighting it together until they secure a fair pay increase.

Unite says that it is concerned that the knock-on effect of the strikes could prove disastrous, with health and safety potentially compromised due to inadequate training, as contracts are temporarily transferred to competitors.

Unite also says it will have a huge domino effect on the public, as medical supplies, animal transport, and general posts or parcels face significant delays.

A spokesperson for DHL Aviation UK, said: “We are disappointed that Unite and its members have voted in favour of industrial action at our East Midlands Airport operation.

“This decision has been made by a small proportion of employees working for DHL Aviation UK and talks continue to resolve this situation.

“Contingency planning is in place to ensure service is maintained for our customers.”

Strike action is set to take place on February 9 through to February 19.

READ MORE NEWS: DHL Express invests £16m in electric ground service equipment at East Midlands Airport


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