Stansted baggage workers to strike

Staff at Stansted Airport will strike on next Monday over a pay dispute, it was confirmed.

Staff at Stansted Airport will strike on next Monday over a pay dispute, it was confirmed.

More than 30 baggage screeners, employed by Airfield Services, will strike on what is a bank holday Monday in the UK, the company said.

Although this strike will go ahead, more serious bank holiday disruption to holidaymakers at Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester airports was called off yesterday.

The dispute involved airport services business Swissport, and cabin staff and baggage handlers who are members of the Unite and GMB unions.

Before the breakthrough at conciliation service Acas, air passengers were facing 24-hour strikes at Gatwick and Stansted on bank holiday Monday and on Friday August 29 as well as 24-hour strikes at Manchester on Wednesday August 27 and Monday September 1.

The baggage screeners at Stansted poised to strike perform security checks on luggage and are members of the union GMB.

A spokesman for Airfield Services said the company was liaising with Acas and the GMB but added: "As of now the protest is still going ahead."

"We are working hard to avert a strike and to conclude the current pay discussions. However, we have full contingency arrangements in place to ensure that the usual high standard of security is maintained with minimal disruption for passengers."

GMB general secretary Paul Kenney said GMB and Stansted owner BAA were urging Airfield Services to discuss the pay dispute with Acas.

He said: "If the company refuses to go to ACAS to discuss a settlement which would add £300 (€378) per week to the company wage bill the GMB will call on BAA to sack it from the contract and replace it with a responsible contractor."

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