Union left reeling after employer rejects strike postponement

The
GMB union said it was ‘astonished’ after airport ground handling company
Aviance rejected its proposal to postpone its strike action.

Baggage
handlers and check-in staff working for the company were set to strike, having
rejected a 2.5 per cent pay offer.

Aviance
operates at 17 airports, including Aberdeen, Belfast,  Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow and Heathrow.

Richard
Hunt, chief executive at Aviance, in a letter to Allan Black, GMB’s national aviation
officer, refused an extension of the 28-day time limit during which strike
action can take place and instead challenged the legal basis of the union
ballot.

Black
told Personnel Today that after taking legal advice, the union would re-run the
ballot in two to three weeks time. He said he had no doubt this would bring a
bigger majority for strike action than before.

“I am
astonished and disappointed that our attempt to avoid summer chaos at our main
airports has been thrown back in our faces in this way,” he said.

By
Michael Millar

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