THE dates of three staff strikes at Liverpool Airport, including over the August Bank Holiday, have been confirmed.

The GMB union is saying health and safety of workers and travellers must come first as around 200 workers voted to take three days of strike action.

The dispute involves baggage handlers and other workers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Workers on the Swissport EasyJet and Swissport Mainline contracts voted overwhelmingly for industrial action "over health and safety issues, working practices, pay and the company’s breach of the recognition agreement", says GMB.

GMB said it balloted members as it claimed the relationship between staff and a company which operates out of the airport is "fundamentally broken".

The strikes will take place as follows:

  • Thursday, August 22 between 4am and 8pm
  • Saturday, August 24 2019 between 4am and 8pm
  • Thursday, August 29 between 4am and 8pm

GMB says further strike dates are expected to follow, possibly including September, and workers will be under a continuous overtime ban.

Eddie Parker, GMB Organiser, said: “Our members have voted to take strike action with a heavy heart – the last thing they want to do is stay off work – or make trouble for the people going on their holidays.

“But these are serious issues and they’ve been backed into a corner by the attitude of airports management.

“Health and Safety of workers and travellers must come first – not to mention the pay issues and the the company’s breach of the recognition agreement.

“In fairness to the company, they have just proposed a last minute new offer which we will now put to our members.”

A Swissport spokesperson said: “We are aware that GMB has named three dates for potential industrial action. It’s important to note that the strike ballot was conducted on the basis of a previous offer and we are now in the final stages of proposing a revised offer for consideration.

“Swissport take health and safety extremely seriously. As with any complex operation we continually look to make improvements and are having constructive conversations with GMB.

“Negotiations are ongoing and we remain hopeful of reaching a resolution. Swissport remain committed to resolving this matter to protect the interests of our customers, airline passengers and employees.”

The Star has attempted to contact Liverpool John Lennon Airport over the matter.

A Liverpool Airport spokesperson said: “We are naturally disappointed to hear that Swissport employees are due to stage three one-day periods of industrial action later this month.

"We are aware that talks are ongoing and would hope that these strikes can still be avoided.

"If this industrial action goes ahead, Swissport have assured the Airport that robust plans are in place that will ensure there is no impact on the passenger experience and that it will remain business as usual during this time.”