UK's Busiest Cargo Hub Risks Summer Strike Disruption

DALLAS — Swissport employees at East Midlands Airport (EMA) have begun balloting to strike in a dispute over nightshift pay. The poll will be open until Thursday, June 22.

The EMA-based Swissport airport and ground staff, members of the GMB union, began balloting for strike action as a result of a disagreement with company management over payment for night shifts.

If the strike action vote is won, EMA, the busiest in the UK for freight and cargo, with over 370,000 tonnes of cargo passing through each year, is set for disruptions just as the summer travel season begins.

Swissport Building. Photo: Swissport

Comments from GMB Official

Sarah James, GMB Regional Organiser, said, “It’s GMB members that keep East Midlands airport moving, day and night. As one of the UK’s top cargo airports, our members work around the clock to keep vital services at the airport running for passengers and cargo.”

The union organizer added, “Swissport are unfairly applying their own rules on payments for night shifts, with workers missing out on potentially hundreds of pounds a month. Strike action is a last resort, but our members have been flat-out ignored by Swissport top brass.”

Swissport provides airport ground handling, lounge hospitality, and cargo handling services at 274 airports in 44 countries across six continents.

East Midlands Airport is a major hub for freight operations throughout Europe due to its central location within the United Kingdom. The airport is also a hub for low-fare airlines such as (LS) and Ryanair (FR) and tour operators like TUIfly (X3).

Featured image: EMA

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