The treatment of Jersey Airport’s Swissport staff facing 70 per cent redundancies by both the company and the island’s government is ‘scandalous’, Unite said today (Friday August 14).
The union said cargo and baggage handling firm Swissport is planning to make 70 out of its 101 staff redundant as the Jersey employment support scheme draws to a close at the end of August.
Unite has asked the government of Jersey to liaise with Swissport to discuss further measures to maintain as many jobs as possible until the expected pick up in air travel to the island in spring 2021.
While the government said that it was willing to enter talks with Swissport, concerned staff have been given no update on their futures by either party.
This includes Swissport’s senior management neglecting to attend a number of pre-planned meetings with Unite representatives.
The union also said that Swissport has a legal duty to try to minimise redundancies, but has so far provided no evidence of doing so.
“The way Swissport Jersey staff are being treated by Swissport and the government of Jersey is scandalous,” commented Unite regional officer Terry Keefe.
“While Covid-19 and the collapse of Flybe has undoubtedly had a major impact on business, air travel to Jersey remains crucial to the island’s economy and is expected to recover by early next year.
“Unite has repeatedly requested updates on any discussions and potential support for Swissport Jersey workers but so far the silence from the company and the government has been deafening.”
Keefe continued, “Swissport has now put forward plans to make 70 per cent of its staff redundant, making no effort to show how it has abided by its legal duty to try to minimise job losses, which will be both devastating for staff and Jersey’s economic wellbeing.
“Swissport can rest assured that the complete neglect of its loyal and hardworking staff will not go unchallenged by Unite.
“The same goes for the Jersey government, which must stop burying its head in the sand and provide support to prevent Swissport from carrying out permanent cutbacks in response to a temporary downturn.”
By Ryan Fletcher