Socialist Worker

Bank holiday baggage handlers’ wage strike

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2115

Baggage handlers and check-in staff working for Swissport have voted to take strike action after workers rejected a below-inflation pay offer.

Unite union members at Gatwick and Manchester airports have voted to take action on 25 and 29 August.

GMB union members working for Swissport at Stanstead have voted by 90 percent in favour of action on the same dates, which will cause national disruption.

Workers at Birmingham and Newcastle airports are being balloted this week for action on 29 August.

Workers were offered a 3 percent pay rise from Swissport, which is an insult when RPI inflation stands at 5 percent.

The coordinated action between airport unions could have a huge impact on multinationals such as Swissport, which holds contracts with Virgin Atlantic, First Choice and Monarch, among others.

Unite national officer Steve Turner said, “We will not stand back and allow labour costs to determine whether contracts are won or lost.”

Gary Pearce, who is the GMB officer at Stanstead airport, said, “GMB members cannot afford these low pay rises given the rising prices they have to pay for food, energy and transport.”


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News
Tue 19 Aug 2008, 18:36 BST
Issue No. 2115
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