19 DECEMBER 2016
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Moves to tackle a series of industrial disputes threatening flights at UK airports up to and over the Christmas weekend were taking shape as BTN went to press last night, with talks at the conciliation service Acas planned for tomorrow (Tuesday).
Unions and management at British Airways, the baggage-handling company Swissport and Virgin Atlantic were also involved in behind-the-scenes negotiations over the weekend, while opinions varied on how much effect the various disputes will have.
With so much going on at the last minute, It is vital passengers check the various airline and airport websites for updated information as the week wears on, and that goes for road and ferry users too.
BA cabin crew voted to strike in a row over pay for staff working for the airline’s ‘Mixed Fleet’, with the Unite union saying the ballot was 79% in favour of strike action on a turnout of 60%.
Swissport, which supplies services to airlines at 18 UK airports including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Luton, Manchester and Stansted, is facing action over pay by 1,500 baggage handlers, check-in staff and cargo crew on 23 and 24 December.
At Virgin Atlantic, passengers could be affected by a dispute involving pilots who have voted to take industrial action, but not to strike, over union recognition, with an overtime ban starting on 23 December.
The Professional Pilots' Union (PPU) said it was possible the action, which had the potential to continue indefinitely, “may leave some flights not covered”.
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