In Unite survey, airport security workers report health and safety concerns; 94 percent ‘undervalued’ by their employer
Some Mitie security officers expected to work eight and a half hours shifts without access to drinking water
Unite Regional Officer, George Brash called out Belfast City Airport security company Mitie on their approach to their workforce at a time when the airport was in the running to win the ‘Airport of the World’ competition which starts in Vilnius tonight.
“Unite members working for Mitie Security at Belfast City Airport report overwhelmingly that they are left undervalued by their employer; in a recent survey we conducted almost 94 percent of respondents said they did not feel valued by their employer, with one individual saying they felt ‘used and unappreciated’.
“Complaints made include wages being paid incorrectly on a routine basis; indeed some workers have been left with no wages for the month at all! Concerns extend to poor health and safety and the absence of personal protective equipment with workers suffering knee injuries as a result of pressure to conduct body searches without any mats provided on the floor.
“Paradoxically, while the workforce feel abused by the security company, the airport is in the running to win worldwide recognition for its ‘investments, facilities, routes and services’; however the workforce don’t see much evidence of such investment.
“As part of its promotional effort, the airport has highlighted the installation of free water refills for passengers as part of the recent upgrade works; this is highly ironic given that many Mitie Security Officers report a lack of access to fresh drinking water in their workplace, with some workers being required to work an eight and a half hour shift without any drinking water being available.
“Mitie need to enter into discussions with the union in regard to the workers’ demand for a voluntary recognition agreement. Such an agreement would offer a means to address these shortcomings and allow everyone working at the airport to enjoy the feel-good factor from its inclusion as a finalist in the ‘Airport of the World’ competition”, Mr Brash said.