T&G union fears more baggage handling firms will affect flight safety at Gatwick Airport

Flight safety could be put at risk if more firms are allowed to fight for work at Gatwick Airport, unions have claimed.

The Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) says the increased competition will hit safety standards at London’s second biggest airport.

The union is calling on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to meet ground staff face-to-face to explain its decision to allow more ground handling firms at Gatwick.

Currently, only four companies are allowed to provide services – including baggage handling and pre-flight checks – at Gatwick Airport. But T&G claims to have seen a CAA report that outlines plans to increase this to an unlimited number.

The union says that increased competition will force firms to cut staff numbers, training and supervision, putting safety at risk.

Madeleine Richards, T&G senior regional industrial organiser, said: “Increased competition will damage safety standards for our members, and could turn out to be counter-productive for airlines and their passengers in the quality of service provided.

“It’s disappointing that the CAA seems to have listened to markets and money rather than the genuine concern of workers. This is critical to the future of this airport. That is why we are challenging the CAA to meet the people directly affected by their decision.”

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