Unite national officer for civil air transport, Oliver Richardson said:
“The root cause of this situation is the dysfunctional nature of airline industry subcontracting. Airlines want the servicing companies to provide a premium product in terms of aircraft handling, check-in and baggage facilities whilst paying rock bottom prices.
“This has led to Swissport at Gatwick engaging in a restructuring exercise which has meant that it did not have enough staff with the right skills set to service its airline clients and their passengers during the peak summer period.
“There were a number of significant issues regarding the restructuring by Swissport, however, this dispute was resolved and our members at Gatwick are currently working normally.
“The problems that passengers are facing with Swissport are the consequence of both poor management decisions and the unsustainable pressure on cost cutting from the airlines.”
Notes to editors:
Unite understands that Monarch airlines have given notice to terminate their contract with Swissport and have advised of their intent to engage a different handler who is yet to be licenced by the Airport.
Other airlines are also considering whether to continue their operation with the company at Gatwick
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.