Not only do we have a jobs crisis in this area, we now have a crisis of low pay.
February 4th: Responding to the announcement that another 115 jobs are to be created at the International Airport, Unite Officer, Susan Fitzgerald, who has responsibility for membership in the airport expressed her concern over the prevalence of poverty pay:
“Over the past few weeks, we have had a number of job creation announcements which are welcome – however, in all cases the average pay per employee has been little higher than the minimum wage.
“We are seeing a ‘race to the bottom’ amongst companies bidding for contracts at the airport.
“Unite represent Band One Security staff who work for ICTS and are paid as little as £7.68 per hour. That means those responsible for ensuring safety and security at our airports are being paid less than Unite members working in LIDL.
“Last year a Unite survey of our members at ICTS indicated that 23% had taken out pay day loans, 69% continued to be in debt and 92% worried about paying their food bills.
“While Invest NI claims that they haven’t thrown the towel in on manufacturing – it is clear that they have thrown the towel in on pay.
“We are fearful that the airport is fast becoming a low pay centre. At a certain stage the idea of being ‘lucky to have a job” is a meaningless when having a job means that you are forced into a cycle of poverty and debt. Is this the height of our ambition for workers in this area?
“Not only do we have a jobs crisis in this area, we now have a ‘crisis of low pay’.
“Unite will be meeting with our members who work in the airport to agree an approach to force the adoption of a minimum standard on pay and conditions by airport authorities and the airlines across the board”, Ms Fitzgerald concluded.