Geneva Airport threatened by strike action on June 29

Geneva Airport threatened by strike action on June 29

The Swiss Public Services Union (SSP) has announced that it will be staging strike action at Geneva Airport on June 29, if the company managing the airport agrees to a cost-cutting plan for salaries. Union leaders warn that the entire airport will come to a standstill if their workers walk out, with officials calling on elements of the Swiss government to step in.

Update: The SSP has confirmed that workers at Geneva Airport will walk out on June 30, 2023. To find out how the strike is set to affect passengers on the day, click here.

Geneva Airport to face possible strike action on June 29, 2023

In a statement given to 20 Minuten, a representative from the SSP announced that they would be planning strike action from 12pm on June 29. Union leaders said they had already warned airlines "in order to divert their aircraft to other destinations."

On the morning of June 29, the board of directors for the airport will be meeting to validate a new salary plan for ground staff. According to the SSP, despite Geneva Airport making profits of 60 million francs in 2022, the new plan for employees will abolish bonuses “which sometimes represent the equivalent of a 13th salary”, “freeze wages until retirement” and make more benefits based on individual performance and predetermined goals.

Flights to be grounded at second largest Swiss airport

If the board of directors choose to approve the plan, a number of workers at the airport will walk out from noon on June 29, the SSP confirmed. Union secretary Jamshid Pouranpir said that the action will result in a “total stoppage in Geneva, with no flights landing and no flights leaving…security searches of passengers will not be ensured, and the employees responsible for the security on the track will stop working. It is obvious that the planes will be grounded.” 

When asked why the strike will start “immediately after the board of directors” approve the plan, Pouranpir argued that “we must seek efficiency and ensure that our movement has the greatest possible impact.” “It will be very popular", the secretary claimed, concluding that he thought it was a shame that the Genevan Grand Council had not intervened to resolve the dispute.

Geneva Airport says it's preparing for strikes

For their part, a spokesperson for Geneva Airport told 20 Minuten that an agreement had not been reached with the SSP and that it is “preparing for a possible strike, by now developing the necessary measures to reduce the impacts for passengers." If the strike goes ahead, "a communication will be broadcast to inform travellers,” they confirmed. 

Genevan Grand Councillor Nathalie Fontanet, the official responsible for the airport, said that the government was “monitoring the situation in real-time", but that not much can be done as the airport is an autonomous business and is therefore not subject to laws on state personnel. She said that she “trusts” the management of the airport will “put in place all the measures which will make it possible to reduce the inconvenience for users as much as possible.”

Thumb image credit: EQRoy /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

Read more



Leave a comment