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DHL workers extend East Midlands Airport strike action

Workers at DHL’s East Midlands Airport hub in the UK have announced they will add another 14 days of industrial action onto existing plans to down tools for 10 days.

The first of the strikes, announced last week, is due to start tomorrow and will last for 10 days.

However, this morning, union Unite said this would be followed up by a further 14 days of industrial action starting on February 19.

The initial strike will involve 180 members of Unite and will run at various times (see end of article for full list).

The employees normally undertake ramp duties, provide aircraft handling and oversee the tower at the airport.

“The escalation in the industrial action is a result of DHL failing to make an improved pay offer to resolve the dispute,” the union said.

Unite claimed that workers had been offered a 9.8% increase, which was due in April 2023 when the RPI rate of inflation stood at 11.3%.

Melanie Todner, Unite regional officer, said: “DHL Aviation’s lack of accountability and unwillingness to engage has led to this escalation in industrial action. The disruption that is bound to follow is entirely a result of DHL’s actions.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “DHL is a multi-million-pound company. It can fully afford to dramatically improve its pay offer and the behaviour in failing to address our member concerns.”

When the strike was first announced, 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.”

Air Cargo News has contacted DHL Aviation UK for a further update.

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.

Full strike dates below:

Friday 9th February  – 00:01 – 13:00, 17:30-21:30
Saturday 10th/17th/24th February, 2nd March – 17:30-21:30
Sunday 11th/18th/25th February, 3rd March  – 16:30-20:30
Monday 12th – Friday 16th February/Monday 19th  – Friday 23rd February
Monday 26th February – Friday 1st March –  5:30am  – 13:00, 17:00-21:30
Monday 4th March  – till 06:00amDHL workers at East Midlands Airport plan strike

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