Essex

Stansted Easter strike: Union agrees to attend talks

The entrance to Stansted Airport
Image caption Ground staff at Stansted Airport threaten to strike over pay cuts from changed shift patterns

Talks to avert a strike by ground staff at Stansted Airport in Essex over Easter have moved a step closer.

The GMB union has told the arbitration service Acas it would attend talks after threatening a walk out on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Monday.

Employers Swissport said proposed work shift changes were being made to avoid job losses as revenues had fallen.

Staff voted overwhelmingly for strike action amid fears of pay cuts of up to £1,000 a year caused by the changes.

GMB official Gary Pearce said the union had offered several alternative shift patterns and working arrangements.

"I have notified Swissport of the ballot result and I have asked them for more talks to try to avert action over these cuts in net income."

Richard Prince, general manager of Swissport Stansted, said: "The proposed changes to working patterns will achieve a proportion of the necessary savings we need to make to offset our decline in revenue.

"It means we will avoid job losses. We are not cutting pay. We are not increasing the amount of hours they work.

"We are asking people to spread their contractual hours over a five-day week and not four days. We are keeping people in jobs."

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