Published on Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Urgent talks are to take place tomorrow to try to stop strike action by baggage handlers and check-in staff at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted airports.
Workers from the ground handling company Swissport based at the four airports have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.
According to Unite the union, 94% of workers balloted voted in favour of a walk-out.
"In the light of this overwhelming mandate for action Swissport has requested talks which we are happy to attend so we can try to resolve this matter," said Unite national officer Oliver Richardson.
"The dispute centres on the company's decision to freeze workers pay for 18 months, from April 2012 through to October 2013, followed by a below inflation increase of just 2.5%.
"Our members are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and Unite believes Swissport is failing to recognise the contribution its staff are making to the success of the company.
"We hope that over the coming days we will be able to thrash out a deal with the company but this will depend on whether the company is prepared to move on from its current position on pay."
Swissport's clients include;
* Stansted airport: Ryanair, Thomas Cook and Thomson
* Manchester airport: Monarch, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Virgin Emirates
* Gatwick airport: Monarch, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Virgin and British Airways
* Heathrow aiport: Virgin
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.