GMB members threaten action unless Swissport reconsiders shift change plans that will cost them £1,000 each
Baggage handlers at Stansted Airport have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over Easter.
The GMB members working for Swissport will lose an estimated £1,000 each due to shift changes and say they will strike unless the company reconsiders the proposed changes.
The outcome of the ballot has been notified to Swissport. GMB has asked the company to reconsider the proposed pay cuts. If the company refuses and there is no progress in the dispute strike action will take place over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Notice of strike action will need to be severed soon.
Swissport imposed a change to shifts patterns which GMB estimates will cost each of the GMB members up to £1,000 a year. The changes will also require that the baggage handlers travel to work an additional 13 times a years with all the additional transport and childcare costs.
GMB organiser Gary Pearce said: “GMB members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and for action short of a strike. Up to now the company has been intent on imposing these changes without agreement and this is completely unacceptable as this vote shows.
“GMB has offered several alternative shift patterns and working arrangements but the company refuses to listen so far. I have notified Swissport of the ballot result and I have asked them for more talks to try to avert action over these pay cuts.
“Swissport claim they have lost work on the Ryanair contact at the airport. GMB baggage handlers have seen no evidence of this. Swissport also claim that they are losing money on the contract. GMB has asked to see the evidence to confirm this but Swissport have refused to comply leading members to question if what they are being told is true.
“GMB members consider that Swissport is attempting to make savings at their expense and they are not willing to agree to this. Unless there is urgent talks and a settlement this vote for action this will result in disruption over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The travelling public need to be aware that it has been this aggressive move by Swissport to cut our members pay at a time of high inflation that has led to this strike vote. If the strike goes ahead Swissport is entirely to blame for the disruption.”
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