Baggage Handlers On Strike At Stansted Airport

The GMB union is planning seven days of strike action by ground staff employed by Swissport, in a dispute over rosters.

The disruption will include stoppages over the bank holiday weekend which could affect travellers flying in and out of the UK.

The GMB said the first of the stoppages will be from 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday to 5.30 a.m. on Thursday.

There will also be strikes from 5.30 a.m. on Saturday until 5.30 a.m. on Monday, May 28 and from 5.30 a.m. on Saturday, June 2 until 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6.

The June 2-6 strike includes the two Jubilee bank holiday days of Monday June 4 and Tuesday June 5.

GMB suspended threatened strike action earlier this year over the introduction of new rosters which the union said would have led to a reduction in incomes of members after the company agreed to enter talks.

Talks broke down last Friday.

Gary Pearce, spokesman for the union, said: "GMB negotiators have been in talks to reach an agreement to resolve this issue since the agreed suspension of the strike action scheduled over Easter.

"It is a shame that Swissport has made and then withdrawn a number of proposals including a return to the original four-days-on and two-days-off roster which would have settled the dispute. The proposals were withdrawn last Friday."

Richard Prince, general manager of Swissport told the BBC: "Swissport wants to avoid redundancies. The proposed changes to working patterns mean we will avoid job losses. We are asking our employees now to work a five-day week rather than a four-day week. We are not cutting peoples' pay. We are not increasing the amount of hours they work. We are keeping people in jobs."

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