Flight cancellations and delays have been a significant issue of late within the UK and it seems there is no end in sight during the busy summer months. Many flight companies, such as EasyJet are cancelling flights due to staff shortages, while major airports are in chaos due to staff shortages for staff handling luggage. How has all this chaos developed and what is causing these staff shortages?
Strikes are occurring from airline staff to baggage handlers and security within airports, in response to the low pay they are receiving. In some cases, it is due to a inconsistency in pay between staff members, such as British Airways. British Airways staff complain the 10% pay cut received during the pandemic still remains, in comparison to other British Airways staff receiving a 10% bonus.
There seems to be no end in sight for further strikes as many Heathrow staff have voted to go on strike throughout the summer, emphasising the significance of the current pay crisis issue. It seems that until the government provides some incentive to work, these issues will multiply throughout many areas within the economy, not just airports.
It may be true that the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the economy and especially the travel sector with 30,000 jobs cut since the start of the pandemic within this sector. Alongside this, the departure from the EU has also contributed towards the issue, however, the real reason behind this the discouragement of work within the UK.
Working 9-5 has become extremely unattractive, due to everything increasing with inflation apart from wages. National Insurance has increased alongside the cost of childcare, not to mention the cost of fuel. With all these expenses and taxes increasing, the demand for higher wages is significant. Without wages increasing alongside inflation, there is little to no incentive in working 9-5. This issue has then resulted in a chain reaction across many sectors, from restaurants cutting menus due to a lack of chefs to shops reducing deliveries due to a lack of delivery drivers.
It seems that strikes among all sectors will continue until change occurs, resulting in significant implications across the country for travel. Flight companies are now having to pay further compensation to customers who’s flights have been cancelled or significantly delayed. Not only the general public, but airline companies are also facing the full force of strikes as a result of people not wanting to work.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all be awaiting a summer without any restrictions to go on holiday, with family or friends. With two years of living a restricted life, 2022 was the year we could finally book summer holidays without any worries.
Well it seemed this way, however, the irony of this issue is yet another year with reluctance to book holidays or worry that your holiday may be cancelled last minute.With the current flight cancellations among airports within the UK, it seems that nobody can be 100% sure as to whether they will be able to get away.
We cannot blame the airport/airline staff who are going on strike, but the government, who are giving full-time workers no other option. With the inconsistency in pay, among the inflation of costs, pressure is seeming to amount upon the government to impose a form of change otherwise, the economy will only continue on a downwards trajectory. Pressure from the general public, alongside airline companies will hopefully influence some form of change to solve this issue and return to summer prior to 2020, where we can enjoy our summer holidays.
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