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Airport baggage workers vote to strike

September 29th, 2017 | by LCN Editor
Airport baggage workers vote to strike
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Baggage handlers at Belfast City Airport have voted to strike, say union chiefs.

Members of the union Unite, which represents 100 workers at the airport, voted 60 per cent in favour of strike action. The union said the strike is a reaction to management’s dismissal of a union representative.

Belfast City Airport’s baggage handling is managed by Swissport, the Swiss services company.

Speaking yesterday, Unite’s regional officer George Brash said “this is a clear vote in favour of strike action. This ballot was taken across all our members in the airport and we would anticipate that the strength of the vote would have been even stronger if we had taken it among the baggage handlers alone.”

Mr Brash went on to say Swissport’s dismissal of the union rep was “indefensible”, and that Unite is “determined to defend the union representative who was dismissed by management”.

Commenting last night, Swissport said it is “considering its options”. The company also stressed that “of the 108 people eligible to vote only 43 voted in favour of this action, which is 27.4 per cent of the total work force”.

A spokesperson for the airport said it would take action to minimise service delays. “We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with the relevant partners to ensure no disruption for passengers,” he said yesterday.

Unite also emphasised its desire to speak with Swissport to prevent delays. “We are urging Swissport management to intervene and resolve this matter in these coming days so as to avoid the disruption that would result from industrial action”, Mr Brash said yesterday.

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