Ryanair has warned passengers to get to the airport at least 3 hours before departure, ahead of foreseen disruptions over the summer season caused by strike action threats from baggage handlers at Blue Handling. Should the pay cuts caused strikes, expected to occur in July, go ahead, hundreds of daily flights will be affected.
The British Irish transport general workers’ union, Unite the Union, has issued several warnings regarding the pay cuts and confirmed that, unless workers receive a substantial pay rise, they will halt their services during the summer season. Blue Handling has over 750 employees, responsible for about 200 daily flights during peak season, all of which risk disruption.
Given the chaos in the airline sector, it is unbelievable and irresponsible that Blue Handling is still refusing to pay decent wages. Unite’s members are ready for strike action. We now expect Blue Handling to step up and pay these workers fairly.Sharon Graham, Unite the Union General Secretary
“Blue Handling’s client Ryanair has recovered well from the pandemic. Blue Handling must ensure that our members are repaid the money the workers lost during Covid. Our members have made it clear to us that they are ready to take part in an industrial action ballot. The company needs to get serious otherwise it could face significant disruption this summer.”, added Burcin Bayazit, Unite’s regional officer.
We understand talks are ongoing and hope that they will be resolved with recourse to industrial action.Ryanair spokesperson
A Blue Handling spokesperson reacted to the Union’s message by saying that “An improved programme of pay was agreed and signed by Unite the Union, the GMB union and ourselves. The recommended offer included an immediate 10.9% increase in pay, as well as an additional rise in 2023 of up to 4%. We were therefore very disappointed to learn that the offer recommended by the unions was subsequently rejected. The industry is still in the early stages of a fragile recovery, and we must be aware of further shocks to our business while recovering Covid-19 losses. The signed agreement reflected the current climate of recovery to ensure we can continue to provide a competitive service at Stansted, while accelerating pay restoration for our team.”
“We are aware of the ongoing negotiations between Unite and ABM who provide third-party handling services to Ryanair at Stansted. We understand these negotiations resulted in a signed agreement between ABM and Unite for significant pay rises for all staff which was subsequently rejected at ballot. We understand talks are ongoing and hope that they will be resolved with recourse to industrial action”, a Ryanair spokesperson told Sun Online Travel.