Stansted baggage handlers favour Jubilee holiday strike

by William ASTON on May 22, 2012

Air travel during Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday is to be disrupted, with baggage handlers at London’s Stansted airport voting to strike.

The GMB union has planned seven days of strikes by the ground staff currently employed by Swissport over a dispute related to rosters. Bank holiday weekend disruption is to include stoppages which might affect fliers travelling in and out of Britain.

The GMB said that the first stoppage will start at 5.30am tomorrow and last until 5.30am on Thursday. Additionally, strikes from 5.30am this Saturday until the same time on the following Monday will be carried out, as will a strike from 5.30am Saturday June 2 until the same time on Wednesday June 6.

The strike from June 2-6 includes two Jubilee bank holidays of June 4 and June 5. Earlier this year, GMB suspended the strike action it threatened in relation to an introduction of new rosters the union believed would have triggered a reduction in the incomes of members in the wake of talks with the company, which broke down last Friday.

Gary Pearce, representing the union, said that GMB negotiators were in talks to strike an agreement aimed at resolving this issue ever since the suspension of strike action that was scheduled to take place over Easter. Pearce continued by adding that it is a great shame Swissport has first made then withdrawn a string of proposals.

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