Swissport workers to commence first two-day strike action from 00.01 December 23rd following 62.5% vote to reject below-inflation pay offer
Management must be responsible and make realistic pay offer to avoid severe disruption over holiday period
December 16th: Unite Regional Officer, George Brash, has called on Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handler, to engage with his union through the conciliation service ACAS in order to avoid unnecessary disruption to the Northern Ireland travelling public:
“We appreciate that this is a very busy time of year at our airports and we are urging management to make a serious offer to meet the workforce’s pay expectations and avoid unnecessary disruption.
“This will be a UK-wide strike involving over 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew. Members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will walk out for 48 hours at 00.01 Friday 23 December. It is likely that this will result in severe disruption at both Belfast City and International Airports where Unite represents the overwhelming majority of workers.
“Our members voted by 62.5 per cent to reject a 4.65 per cent three-year pay deal for the period 2015-2017. Given that the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee has forecasted retail-price inflation of four percent by the end of 2017, this would mean the workforce would receive less than the inflation rate for the period.
“In addition to this pay offer, our members have been angered by management demands that sought to link the pay offer to changes to terms and conditions, including a freeze on overtime payments and pay restructuring.
“Our members are only taking this industrial action as a last resort in a bid to reach a fair settlement – they have not had a pay rise since 2014. Swissport management now need to get real and make a genuine offer that meets workers’ legitimate pay expectations”, Mr Brash concluded.