August 18, 2008

Airport Staff Strike Looms

HOLIDAYMAKERS could be hit by delays as staff consider strike action at Newcastle International Airport.

Baggage handlers and check-in staff are expected to be balloted about whether to walk out in a pay dispute.

Staff at Newcastle International Airport are considering following the lead of staff at Gatwick Airport who are planning two 24-hour strikes, including one on Bank Holiday Monday.

The workers, employed by Swissport, have rejected a "paltry" 3% pay offer, which union Unite complained was well below inflation.

Unite has warned that all baggage handling and check-in operations at a number of airlines at Gatwick would be halted on August 25 and 29.

Results of ballots at Stanstead and Manchester are expected in the next few days, and ballots are being planned for Newcastle and Birmingham.

National Unite officer Steve Turner said: "Our members have had enough. We will not stand back and allow labour costs to determine whether contracts are won or lost."

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