Strike looms at Manchester Airport


Unite, the UK’s biggest civil air transport union, is balloting its members working at Manchester Airport for industrial action in a dispute over restructuring, which has resulted in job cuts, pay cuts, and the introduction of an unpopular shift pattern.

Over 100 Swissport ground-handling staff at the airport, including baggage handlers and ramp operatives, will receive ballot papers this weekend. Unite is warning that industrial action will see passenger services at the airport seriously disrupted in the lead up to and during the Easter holidays.

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Unite said the company has refused to hold meaningful talks with the union over the reorganization and is urging Swissport to resolve the dispute by seeking immediate discussion of the workers concerns.

Unite regional officer, Lawrence Chapple-Gill, said, “We are extremely disappointed that our members have to contemplate strike action in order to make the company listen to reason. We urge Swissport to sit down with us and discuss these restructuring plans properly, rather than simply impose them.”

The ballot commences this Friday, March 13, with the result to be announced on Monday, March 23, 2009.