Stansted baggage handlers in Easter strike

by William ASTON on March 30, 2012

Stansted baggage handlers will strike over Easter weekend due to a pay row, the GMB union confirmed today.

This move follows the overwhelming vote that favoured industrial action by the 150 GMB union members currently employed by Swissport, which currently handles baggage for the likes of Ryanair, Monarch, Tom Cook, and Thomson. The union claims that shift changes will lead to salary cuts of anything up to £1,000.

GMB union said that the changes are to require baggage handlers travelling to work an extra 13 times per years, with all additional transport costs and childcare costs. The union said that strikes are to be conducted on Good Friday, as well as Easter Sunday and the bank holiday of Easter Monday.

GMB official Gary Pearce commented that GMB members voted overwhelmingly to take strike action and added that the company has acted completely unacceptably by imposing changes without any prior agreements. Pearce continued by saying that GMB has offered alternative shift patterns but the company has thus far refused to listen in the same manner that it wished not to discuss different working arrangements.

Apparently, Swissport has been notified of the ballot’s results and has also been asked to take part in fresh talks that will avert any action over the pay cuts. Pearce pointed out that GMB considers that Swissport has been attempting to save money at the expense of its employees unwilling to agree to their employers demands.

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