Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
readytotaxi
Topic Author
Posts: 7781
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:06 pm

Check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew at 18 UK airports plan 48-hour strike from 23 December, the Unite Union says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38347283

The union said more than 1,500 workers at Swissport, the world's largest ground and cargo handler, would walk out following a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. :(
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
User avatar
CrimsonNL
Posts: 2178
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:38 am

That would be really low.. I work in ground handling myself so I fully understand the crap working conditions they face. However to disrupt the holiday travel plans of so many passengers is pretty inexcusable. They should know they will only really hurt the passengers and not their management by striking on Christmas. Their CEO will be at home having dinner with his family no matter what they do, but you can't say that for the traveling public.

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
LimaFoxTango
Posts: 1001
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:33 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:56 pm

CrimsonNL wrote:
That would be really low.. I work in ground handling myself so I fully understand the crap working conditions they face. However to disrupt the holiday travel plans of so many passengers is pretty inexcusable. They should know they will only really hurt the passengers and not their management by striking on Christmas. Their CEO will be at home having dinner with his family no matter what they do, but you can't say that for the traveling public.

Martijn


Do you know of a better time to go on strike?
 
User avatar
CrimsonNL
Posts: 2178
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:52 pm

LimaFoxTango wrote:
CrimsonNL wrote:
That would be really low.. I work in ground handling myself so I fully understand the crap working conditions they face. However to disrupt the holiday travel plans of so many passengers is pretty inexcusable. They should know they will only really hurt the passengers and not their management by striking on Christmas. Their CEO will be at home having dinner with his family no matter what they do, but you can't say that for the traveling public.

Martijn


Do you know of a better time to go on strike?


Yeah, like any time apart from the Christmas holidays..

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
cainanuk
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 4:05 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:01 pm

To all the people complaining about the upcoming airport strikes, have you any idea just how little airport workers get paid? Or for that matter, how shitty they are treated?
I worked at MAN for 11 years for several handling agents. I worked as a dispatcher. This is a flight safety critical job. I was responsible for load planning, weight and balance, dangerous goods compatibility. I had to ensure that the turnarounds happened on time and safely. On average, I dispatched between 8-12 flights a day having approximately 20-30 minutes per flight to plan and execute each turnaround. In that time I had to complete and SIGN a LEGAL DOCUMENT called a loadsheet to present to the captain of the aircraft telling him where everything is, how much it all weighed, if there was any dangerous cargo on board, if there were any live animals in the hold or human remains (yes, that is quite common). I also had to oversee the ramp and passenger service functions at the gate. If I did my job wrong, I could actually cause your plane to crash (and kill you). These captains, whilst they checked our figures had to assume and trust that what I am telling him is what actually happened on the turnaround. If (God forbid) that plane crashed and it was found to be the fault of the ground crew, guess who would be on the block for manslaughter of EVERY single person on that plane... yep... ME.
Now factor in the companies, who viewed me and my skill set as completely and utterly replaceable. I would work 6 on 3 off, and whilst scheduled for a 9-10 hour shift, working doubles were the norm as my basic salary was a paltry £15-17k per annum. Yeah, that guy dispatching your flight is probably doing between 70-90 hours per week and could very well be on hour 14 that day, because it's the only way he or she can make a decent wage. Those baggage loaders are doing some seriously physical labour with a bare bones number of staff, again often doing double shifts. We literally had guys DIE in the breakroom! And the pax services staff... BARELY above minimum wage to have managers complain about the danier count on their tights and the travelling public to be rude, contemptuous and horrible to them at every opportunity.
After 11 years, I was offered voluntary redundancy and happily pulled the plug.
All that being said, I absolutely loved the job and the people I worked with but held my managers and employers in nothing but contempt. I do miss the job and my coworkers, but those ultimately responsible for this strike, the companies and managers, and the airlines who in a race to the bottom have caused this whole mess... they can go take a long walk off a short plank from a great height.
This strike is a LONG time coming and I hope they get every concession they are asking for and finally get paid a wage that is suitable for the job they perform.
Cainan Cornelius
 
B777LRF
Posts: 2785
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:14 pm

CrimsonNL wrote:
That would be really low.. I work in ground handling myself so I fully understand the crap working conditions they face. However to disrupt the holiday travel plans of so many passengers is pretty inexcusable. They should know they will only really hurt the passengers and not their management by striking on Christmas. Their CEO will be at home having dinner with his family no matter what they do, but you can't say that for the traveling public.

Martijn


The purpose of a strike is to inflict maximum effect; being considerate runs against that purpose. The whole point is to push the, exceedingly fragile and commonly very poorly led, employer to action. Whilst your average ground handling company cares naught for it's employees, they do care rather a lot about the contracts they are working. So striking over a heavy travel period makes perfect sense, as that's where you have the best chances of having the airline customer place a call to the handling agent, telling them in no uncertain terms to get the show on the road now, or have their 90-day notice sent by courier. This very much tends to sharpen the attention of the, often inept, management and a deal is struck. Changing handling agent is ever so easy, a drill all airlines go through every couple or so years. The aim is always the same: Lower costs. The place those lower costs are harvested is always the same: Labour.

cainanuk wrote:
To all the people complaining about the upcoming airport strikes, have you any idea just how little airport workers get paid? Or for that matter, how shitty they are treated?
I worked at MAN for 11 years for several handling agents. I worked as a dispatcher. This is a flight safety critical job. I was responsible for load planning, weight and balance, dangerous goods compatibility. I had to ensure that the turnarounds happened on time and safely. On average, I dispatched between 8-12 flights a day having approximately 20-30 minutes per flight to plan and execute each turnaround. In that time I had to complete and SIGN a LEGAL DOCUMENT called a loadsheet to present to the captain of the aircraft telling him where everything is, how much it all weighed, if there was any dangerous cargo on board, if there were any live animals in the hold or human remains (yes, that is quite common). I also had to oversee the ramp and passenger service functions at the gate. If I did my job wrong, I could actually cause your plane to crash (and kill you). These captains, whilst they checked our figures had to assume and trust that what I am telling him is what actually happened on the turnaround. If (God forbid) that plane crashed and it was found to be the fault of the ground crew, guess who would be on the block for manslaughter of EVERY single person on that plane... yep... ME.
Now factor in the companies, who viewed me and my skill set as completely and utterly replaceable. I would work 6 on 3 off, and whilst scheduled for a 9-10 hour shift, working doubles were the norm as my basic salary was a paltry £15-17k per annum. Yeah, that guy dispatching your flight is probably doing between 70-90 hours per week and could very well be on hour 14 that day, because it's the only way he or she can make a decent wage. Those baggage loaders are doing some seriously physical labour with a bare bones number of staff, again often doing double shifts. We literally had guys DIE in the breakroom! And the pax services staff... BARELY above minimum wage to have managers complain about the danier count on their tights and the travelling public to be rude, contemptuous and horrible to them at every opportunity.
After 11 years, I was offered voluntary redundancy and happily pulled the plug.
All that being said, I absolutely loved the job and the people I worked with but held my managers and employers in nothing but contempt. I do miss the job and my coworkers, but those ultimately responsible for this strike, the companies and managers, and the airlines who in a race to the bottom have caused this whole mess... they can go take a long walk off a short plank from a great height.
This strike is a LONG time coming and I hope they get every concession they are asking for and finally get paid a wage that is suitable for the job they perform.


Thumbs up.
Last edited by B777LRF on Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Signature. You just read one.
 
Jerry123
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:58 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:16 pm

It is only UNITE union members that are striking so it depends on how many staff at each airport are members. At Cardiff airport only 6 of the Swissport staff are members so CWL will not be effected.
 
User avatar
usdcaguy
Posts: 1590
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:41 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:32 pm

I am rather surprised at the low salaries given to aviation workers in the UK. They are about the amount paid to staff in the US with a very small premium. I would have expected life in Britain to be a little easier, but apparently Anglo-Saxon capitalism is incredibly brutal on workers and their families. The only way to improve one's working conditions is to organize, which many in the UK have already done and to negotiate for the best wage possible. If the agreed-upon salary is no longer palatable to workers and management is unwilling to adjust it, then the union's membership will and should take aggressive action to protect their interests, and that would include striking on Christmas, when the strike would have the most effect. I really hope they are successful and have a better Christmas next year.
 
pompos
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:47 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:55 pm

Are there any updates regarding the strike?
I am flying from Stansted on Friday with Ryanair and wondering if I need to pack for cabin luggage only.
 
PanHAM
Posts: 9719
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:15 pm

I wish everyone a good income, but the management does not pay your wages and social contributions, the ultimate customer does that and his name is Passenger. The market is liberated and low cost carriers fly Point to Point for little Money. How can handling companies pay more than they get from their Airline customers? A strike won't hange that, the passengers will not pay more voluntarily.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
User avatar
readytotaxi
Topic Author
Posts: 7781
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:16 pm

Just checked the Swissport web site and no update, Ryanair say flights will operate as normal. Go with cabin luggage only and be safe.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
Lofty
Posts: 688
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:39 pm

Will people please stop talking about paid a low wage. When you apply for a job you know what you are going to be paid and if you do your research correctly what the company is like to work for. The issues come when you are brought out by another company and your contacts change, which happens a lot in ground handling companies. LGW has seen this with BA having to create its own ground handling company.
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 2259
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:48 pm

LimaFoxTango wrote:
CrimsonNL wrote:
That would be really low.. I work in ground handling myself so I fully understand the crap working conditions they face. However to disrupt the holiday travel plans of so many passengers is pretty inexcusable. They should know they will only really hurt the passengers and not their management by striking on Christmas. Their CEO will be at home having dinner with his family no matter what they do, but you can't say that for the traveling public.

Martijn


Do you know of a better time to go on strike?


I don't know that there's ever a "good" time, but I would say doing it in the days *after* Christmas would at least be more considerate for pax who are trying to get somewhere for the holidays. Still very disruptive, but at least not ruining people's holidays.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:08 pm

Lofty wrote:
Will people please stop talking about paid a low wage. When you apply for a job you know what you are going to be paid and if you do your research correctly what the company is like to work for. The issues come when you are brought out by another company and your contacts change, which happens a lot in ground handling companies. LGW has seen this with BA having to create its own ground handling company.


Well I happen to know from the horses mouth that not only are wages extremely low, the other issue in Swissport is that front line staff get no perks, insufficient training and are treated like dirt by management. There's an all-pervasive blame culture which means that instead of collaborating to make things run smoothly, everyone's covering their arse and pointing fingers whenever there's the slightest issue. Supervisors don't know what they're doing / what's going on most of the time and anyone who tries to be pro-active and fix things themselves is likely to get stabbed in the back by the very person they helped out as their laziness/lack-of-training caused them to slip up.

And all this while trying to maintain professionalism in the face of constantly abusive/stupid passengers...
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
Planesmart
Posts: 2891
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:42 pm

Lofty wrote:
Will people please stop talking about paid a low wage. When you apply for a job you know what you are going to be paid and if you do your research correctly what the company is like to work for. The issues come when you are brought out by another company and your contacts change, which happens a lot in ground handling companies. LGW has seen this with BA having to create its own ground handling company.


In a lot of countries now, the least senior ground handling jobs are on zero-based contracts, so extremely difficult to know in advance, whether applying for, or a new owner taking over, what you will earn, if anything. Call in sick, or turn down a few 'assignments', and that's the end of job.

Some banks treat applicants on zero-based contracts as having no income, so no chance of obtaining a mortgage or longer term finance. The default for most credit scoring models is to classify applicants on zero-based contracts as unemployed.
 
User001
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:18 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:46 pm

I believe the Swissport strike has been called off.
 
User avatar
readytotaxi
Topic Author
Posts: 7781
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:53 pm

you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
Lofty
Posts: 688
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:47 pm

Planesmart wrote:
Lofty wrote:
Will people please stop talking about paid a low wage. When you apply for a job you know what you are going to be paid and if you do your research correctly what the company is like to work for. The issues come when you are brought out by another company and your contacts change, which happens a lot in ground handling companies. LGW has seen this with BA having to create its own ground handling company.


In a lot of countries now, the least senior ground handling jobs are on zero-based contracts, so extremely difficult to know in advance, whether applying for, or a new owner taking over, what you will earn, if anything. Call in sick, or turn down a few 'assignments', and that's the end of job.

Some banks treat applicants on zero-based contracts as having no income, so no chance of obtaining a mortgage or longer term finance. The default for most credit scoring models is to classify applicants on zero-based contracts as unemployed.


So why do people apply for zero-based contracts. If a company needs to employ staff they will go for the least amount of pay they can get away with and if they can feel every vacancy twice over then they will continue. If people stop applying for these vacancies the companies would have to revisit it's pay levels.
 
opticalilyushin
Posts: 834
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:35 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:28 pm

In many cases people apply for jobs because they are in dire straits, they have no other options, so they'll take any job they can get if it will hopefully put some food on the table.

I work for the affore-mentioned company as a dispatcher and load controller, and I can vouch for some of what has been mentioned above..Handling agents will typically employ the cheapest staff they can find, at the lowest wage they can afford, and on the worst terms of employment; training is virtually non-existent, you just have to get on with it.

I am glad the strikes have been called off for now, and an offer in lieu of no payrise has been made, but the company management have done nothing but lie to their employees, from their high, bonus-receiving perches, and in my humble opinion they deserve this shake-up
 
BestWestern
Posts: 8358
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

Re: Christmas chaos at 18 UK airports.

Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:19 am

The problem with the tender process for ground handing services is that that lowest cost wins. This results in ongoing cost cutting to drive prices down to win new contracts.

What was once a starting point for an airline career is now just a cost to be kept as low as possible.

In Europe the levels of competition amongst ground handling firms is intense and keeps prices (and salaries) rock bottom.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos