Airport security staff stage one-hour stoppages

One of Britain’s busiest airports is suffering a further series of one-hour stoppages by staff locked in a bitter dispute over restructuring plans.

One of Britain’s busiest airports is suffering a further series of one-hour stoppages by staff locked in a bitter dispute over restructuring plans.

Manchester Airport bosses said security workers were staging five-hours-on, one-hour-off strikes as they stepped up their protest against plans to axe jobs, cut holidays and introduce new rosters.

Operators insist it will be business as usual at the UK’s third largest airport thanks to ‘‘robust contingency plans’’ which has seen replacement security teams introduced during the ongoing dispute.

According to reports they confiscated some 280 sharp items from passenger during a four-hour stoppage last week including scissors and nail files.

During a 36-hour stoppage late last month around 200 members of the Transport and General Workers Union manned a picket line outside the south Manchester site.

But the union’s regional industrial organiser Brian Bowen insisted their protests were designed to cause ‘‘the least disruption possible for passengers at the airport’’.

Manchester Airport has been at the centre of three security breaches already this year and union chiefs are calling for the Government to investigate.

Two security breakdowns were exposed when newspaper reporters smuggled sharp objects on to planes.

The third happened last month when guns and fake explosives passed unchecked through X-ray monitors and ended up in the hold of a BA flight to Gatwick.

The cache was hidden in a suitcase by a private security training company and was part of an authorised test. A security guard was suspended.

Today’s stoppages started at 6am.

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