Airport staff vote for Bank Holiday strike action

Unions claim Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport is set for Bank Holiday gridlock after GMB members voted to strike.

Around 200 workers on the Swissport easyJet and Swissport Mainline contracts voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over health and safety issues, working practices, pay and the company’s alleged breach of the recognition agreement.

The strikes will take place as follows: Thursday 22nd August between 04.00 and 20.00; Saturday 24th August between 04.00 and 20.00; Thursday 29th August between 04.00 and 20.00.

Further dates are expected to follow, and workers will be under a continuous overtime ban.

Eddie Parker, GMB Organiser, said: “Our members have voted to take strike action with a heavy heart – the last thing they want to do is stay off work, or make trouble for people going on their holidays.

“But these are serious issues and they’ve been backed into a corner by the attitude of airport management.

“The health and safety of workers and travelers must come first – not to mention the pay issues and the the company’s breach of the recognition agreement.”

He added: “In fairness to the company, they have just proposed a last minute new offer which we will now put to our members.”

Swissport said in a statement: “We are aware that GMB has named three dates for potential industrial action.

“It’s important to note that the strike ballot was conducted on the basis of a previous offer and we are now in the final stages of proposing a revised offer for consideration.

“Negotiations are ongoing and we remain hopeful of reaching a resolution.

“Swissport remain committed to resolving this matter to protect the interests of our customers, airline passengers and employees.”

An airport spokesperson said: “We are naturally disappointed to hear that Swissport employees are due to stage three one-day periods of industrial action later this month. We are aware that talks are ongoing and would hope that these strikes can still be avoided.

“If this industrial action goes ahead, Swissport have assured the airport that robust plans are in place that will ensure there is no impact on the passenger experience and that it will remain business as usual during this time.”