Workers to strike at Geneva Airport in lead-up to Christmas
The Swiss Public Services Union (SSP) has confirmed that workers at the Dnata baggage handling company at Geneva Airport will be walking out in the lead-up to Christmas. The industrial action is expected to severely impact flight operations at the airport.
Workers at Geneva Airport to strike before Christmas 2023
Speaking to reporters, SPP secretary Jamshid Pouranpir announced that staff working for Dnata at Geneva Airport will be going on strike on the week of December 18. While he refused to confirm when the strike will occur in the week leading up to Christmas, he warned that half of the company’s 600 workers in Geneva - who issue tickets, handle baggage and air freight, and de-ice planes, among other things - would be walking out.
Pouranpir said that “the walkout will paralyse the entire operations of the airlines which depend on Dnata.” This would include all Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France, KLM, British Airways, Iberia and Air Lingus flights, along with some easyJet services. 720.000 people are expected to travel through Geneva Airport in the two weeks around Christmas.
Staff at Dnata in Geneva walking out over pension plan
The secretary explained that workers will be striking due to changes to how Dnata handles second-pillar pensions, reforms which he says were “introduced on the sly at the beginning of October. The employees did not even receive a letter. They learned about it via the internal application. They are revolted.”
He noted that the contribution rate paid from workers’ salaries and by Dnata has been reduced to the “bare legal minimum”. The union estimated that, over a person’s working life, the company reforms would cost staff 120.000 francs. “It’s once again a way to save money at the expense of workers,” Pouranpir added.
He concluded that the talks between the SSP and the international company, meant to address their concerns, have not been fruitful and that it is now “Dnata’s responsibility to find a path to social peace.” For now, travellers and the media alike wait for news of when the disruption will begin.
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