Passengers departing from Stansted Airport over the Easter weekend will be pleased to hear that talks are to due to take place in order to prevent a planned walkout.
Staff at the Essex-based airport are threatening to walk out over wage disputes. The union representing the baggage handlers and ground staff, GMB, said it will meet with employer Swissport and Acas, the arbitration service, to try and resolve the issue.
Current plans could see the staff strike on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Monday.
A wave of unrest has been sparked by the proposed cuts of £1,000 a year because of shift changes. The proposed changes were designed to avoid job losses after Swissport experienced a recent fall in revenue.
In an overwhelming majority vote for industrial action, airport staff are threatening to walk out between 6am and 8am as well as 4pm and 6pm on each of the three days unless the issue is resolved.
Gary Pearce, a GMB official, told the Press Association: “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 cuts in net income from their work.
“These talks are an opportunity for Swissport to sort out the shift patterns that are putting an unacceptable burden on GMB members’ incomes.”
Budget carrier Ryanair operates the largest number of flights from the airport and has confirmed that the airline will continue flying, allowing a carry-on baggage system should the strikes go ahead.
It could be worth checking with your airline operator and the airport for any cancellations or delays before travelling anywhere this weekend.
(Image: jon smith)