Chaos predicted for bank holiday as baggage handlers plan strike

The Easter holidays have begun, and whilst drivers have to contend with uncertainty at the pumps, those flying from Stansted Airport face strike action.

The Essex airport is facing the prospect of strikes by baggage handlers on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday.

Industrial action is predicted for the bank holiday week after 150 union members, employed by Swissport, passed a vote in favour.

The GMB (Britain’s ‘general’ union) union has said that changes to shifts will result in wage cuts of up to £1,000.

GMB official Gary Pearce said: ‘GMB members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and for action short of a strike.

‘Up to now the company has been intent on imposing these changes without agreement and this is completely unacceptable, as this vote shows.

‘GMB has offered several alternative shift patterns and working arrangements but the company refuses to listen so far.’

He added: ‘Unless there is urgent talks and a settlement, this vote for action this will result in disruption over the Easter bank holiday weekend.’

A Swissport spokesman said last night: ‘At this time we can confirm the airport will be open as normal. Passengers should travel to the airport as normal and we expect no disruption to our services.’

On the roads, works have been stopped for the Easter holiday on some routes but many motorway restrictions will stay in place.

The suspensions will last from 6am on Thursday April 5 until midnight on Easter Monday April 9.