Published: Fri, December 23, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Staff at British airports cancel planned Christmas strike

Staff at British airports cancel planned Christmas strike

Around 10,000 airline travellers who were due to fly out from British airports over the weekend woke up on Monday morning still in the United Kingdom, after around 80 outbound flights were cancelled because of weekend fog.

A PLANNED STRIKE in the United Kingdom by baggage handlers, check-in staff and ground crew employed by Swissport has been called off tonight - meaning Irish expats travelling home for Christmas don't have to cancel their plans (just yet).

They had voted for industrial action in protest at a 4.65% pay rise over three years but the strikes were called off after the union's general secretary Len McCluskey said a better pay offer had been received.

Swissport baggage handlers are not contracted to all airlines at airports where the company has a presence.

Unite said it had reminded airline management that both parties have agreed to an embargo on comments as talks continue at resolving the "mixed fleet" cabin crew dispute at the Acas conciliation service.

In previous ground-handling disputes, Ryanair has insisted that passengers take hand baggage only.

Virgin Atlantic pilots are also due to start a work to rule from December 23 onwards.

Luke Farajallah, Flybe's Chief Operations Officer said: "We are still planning to operate our full flight schedule this upcoming Christmas weekend, albeit that services at some of our airports might be impacted and we are ready to put our contingency plans into immediate action should they be required". Pilots can exercise considerable discretion on working hours when weather or other factors intervene.

Separately, British Airways cabin crew based at Heathrow airport still plan to strike on Christmas Day and Boxing Day in a row over pay and conditions.

The Post Office said 35 branches were closed by the strike on Tuesday, one fewer than on Monday.

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