Airport staff to strike over jobs


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The Independent Online

Ground staff at a regional airport are to launch a campaign of industrial action this week, including strikes, in a row over jobs, it was announced today.

Members of the GMB union employed by Servisair at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool will walk out for two hours from 5am on Wednesday, and again from 7pm.

The workers will strike again on Friday from 5am to 7am and from 7.15pm to 9.15pm, followed by a two hour stoppage from 4pm next Sunday.

There will be two periods of strike action on Monday November 28 from 5am to 7am and from 7pm to 9pm. This pattern of strike action will be repeated in the weeks from November 30, and there will be a continuous ban on overtime from this Wednesday, the union announced.

The GMB said the action was in protest at plans for 47 compulsory redundancies at Servisair, which deals with a number of airlines at the airport, including Ryanair, Easyjet, KLM, FlyBe and Hungarian airline WizzAir.

Union officials said they regretted any disruption to passengers because of the industrial action.

GMB official Eddie Parker said: "GMB members voted by 85% in favour of action up to and including strike action and by 95% in favour of action short of a strike. Servisair initially put 75 jobs at risk from redundancy. Given the level of unemployment on Merseyside and given that Servisair is making a profit, compulsory redundancies are not acceptable.

"GMB members consider that the real reasons for the job losses are bigger profits, the removal of full time employment to be replaced by part-time working and the introduction of flexible working. We have told Servisair that members will undertake upskilling at no cost to the company to save jobs if they remove the compulsory proposal.

"Servisair have rejected this proposal and issued redundancy notices to GMB members. GMB remains available for talks to avoid this dispute and avoid disrupting the travelling public."