Belfast City Airport staff face temporary lay-off, union warns

George Best Belfast City Airport

Image caption

The staff are among 150 workers at Belfast City Airport employed by Swissport

A trade union has said some baggage handlers and check-in staff are facing a temporary lay-off from Belfast City Airport.

It follows the collapse of Flybe, which accounted for about 80% of the airport’s flights.

The staff are among 150 workers at the airport employed by Swissport, the air services firm.

The airport said it was “continuing its negotiations with a number of airlines” to fill the Flybe routes.

“We understand this is a difficult time for all employees at the airport, but we hope to have positive news in the coming weeks,” its statement added.

The BBC has asked Swissport for comment.

George Brash, from the Unite union, said union representatives were called to a briefing on Friday.

He said they were told about a proposal for a 14-day unpaid stand-down period – in effect a temporary lay-off .

Mr Brash said it was a “totally unacceptable” response by Swissport.

“This is not a company that needs to threaten the income of their employees in the aftermath of the Flybe collapse,” he added.

“Indeed, with the prospect that many, if not all, former Flybe routes could be taken on by other airlines this is an unnecessary and unacceptable response rooted in a short-term desire simply to maximise profits.”

He added that the union was taking advice on the legality of an unpaid lay-off.

BBC News

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