Stansted Airport: Easter travellers face disruption as baggage handlers vote on industrial action

HOLIDAYMAKERS heading off for some Easter sunshine could be hit by delays amid an escalating industrial dispute at Stansted Airport.

GMB, the general trade union, has announced it will ballot 150 baggage handlers over a dispute about changing shift patterns.

The union claim the changes will see its members lose up to �1,000-a-year.

Gary Pearce, GMB organiser said, “The GMB shop stewards have been meeting with Swissport since January. GMB has offered several alternative shift patterns and working arrangements but the company refuses to listen.

“The company is intent on imposing these changes without agreement and this is completely unacceptable.

“GMB members consider that Swissport is attempting to make savings at their expense and they are not willing to agree to this.

“If they vote for action this could result in disruption over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.”

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But a spokesman for BAA Airports Limited, which runs Stansted, said the ballot – the results of which will be announced on Thursday, March 29 – would not affect operations at the airport.

He added: “There’s no suggestion that we will be subject to any strike without prior notice and, as and when that is the case, contingencies will be put in place.

“It’s very much down to the company [Swissport] and the airlines. The airport will remain unaffected and operate as normal, that’s a very small part of the operation.”

Swissport did not return calls regarding this issue.