Airport International News - July 2012
UK Airport Staff Pre-Olympics Strike Announced
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Airport International's Lead Reporter on 20/07/2012 - 05:30:00
UK airport workers are set to strike on the eve of the 2012 London Olympic Games - a decision that could cause travel chaos.
The Home Office staff strike is planned to last for 24 hours and will be staged over a number of work-related issues. These include pay, employment terms and other factors.
The 24-hour walk-out is scheduled for the 26 July and, says the PCS (Public and Commercial Services) Union, further action is planned for the Olympic period. Beyond airports, the strike is also expected to affect ports and other parts of the UK's border infrastructure.
For London Heathrow in particular, all strike threats could be extremely damaging, with the UK's flagship airport on course to have one of its busiest days ever on 13 August. On this day, 65 per cent of the 2012's London Olympics' visitors are likely to be leaving the UK.
Pre-Olympics Airport Strike
On the planned pre-Olympics airport strike day, meanwhile, things aren't expected to get quite that busy but, still, Heathrow passenger levels are forecast to reach 127,000 - 45 per cent above their typical daily maximum.
"The lives of staff have been made intolerable by these cuts and they're at breaking point", PCS' Mark Serwotka explained in a statement. "Ministers have known about these issues for a very long time and need to act now to sort out the chaos they have caused. They're acting recklessly in cutting so many jobs and privatising services, and are provocatively refusing to talk to us with a genuine desire to reach an agreement."
UK Airport Strike
Theresa May - the UK Home Secretary - has labelled the UK airport strike decision as "shameful." In her statement, she added: "They are holding a strike on what is one of the key days for people coming in for the Olympic Games. We will of course put contingency arrangements in place to ensure we can deal with people coming through the border as smoothly as possible."
"I think the Government is whipping up hysteria about the Olympics, there'll be no disruption...this is a 24-hour strike before the Olympics actually takes place", Serwotka said in comments quoted by the BBC.
Image copyright ‘Terminal 5 Insider' - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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