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DHL workers at East Midlands Airport plan strike

DHL is facing strike action once again as DHL Aviation UK employees at East Midlands Airport plan to stop work for a week next month in a move that has potential to disrupt air cargo operations.

180 workers who are members of the trade union Unite aredue to begin industrial action on Friday February 9 until Monday February 19. The employees normally undertake ramp duties, provide aircraft handling and oversee the tower at the airport

Last month, more than 1,100 DHL Express workers at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in the US undertook strike action that saw DHL Express divert freighter flights away from CVG to avoid disruption to air cargo operations.

A spokesperson for DHL Aviation UK told Air Cargo News: “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.”

Industrial action was called after the workers rejected a pay increase of 9.8% said Unite, which said the offer amounted to a pay cut due to inflation.

“The walk-out won’t solely impact DHL Aviation,” said Unite. “The logistics giant oversees several cargo fleets at the airport including Emirates, MNG Airlines, Aerologic and Formula One, the industrial action will inevitably cause severe disruption at these companies.”

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.”

DHL Aviation (UK) Limited is the registered company name for the Hubs and Gateways infrastructure of DHL Express’ network operations in the UK. Known internally as Hubs and Gateways UK, DHL Aviation (UK) Limited employs over 2,000 people based across three sites at East Midlands Airport, Heathrow Airport and London Luton Airport.

DHL Aviation maintains a facility at East Midlands Airport and has a global fleet of more than 200 dedicated cargo aircraft. It offers an airport-to-airport linehaul network, interline, charter and handling services.

Part of the DHL Aviation division, cargo airline DHL Air (UK) is based at the airport and operates a fleet of Boeing 757, 767 and 777 freighters. The airline supports worldwide parcel and express airfreight operations for DHL Express.

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