Trade union concerned for welfare of Jersey Airport baggage handlers

Concerns are being raised about the welfare of Jersey Airport workers employed by Swissport.

The GMB Union says it has received reports from members employed by the company, who claim they are being overworked.

It comes after Jersey Airport was severely criticised for major delays on Saturday, which left passengers waiting up to two hours to retrieve their luggage.

Matthew Roberts, GMB National Officer, said: "There's quite a number of problems, ranging from shifts being extended at short notice, changes to shift patterns, a lack of access to drinking water during shifts, and a lack of appropriate parking.

"Constant moving of the rest facilities and the staff room - I could go on. We are concerned from a health and safety point of view."

Ports of Jersey is now working on a recovery plan to prevent further disruption this summer, after chaos at the weekend resulted in firefighters being called to move passengers' bags.

Robert Mackenzie, of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce Tourism Group, said: "The most important thing is that we put the customer at the heart of what we do and I know the airport understands this.

"Any step they take needs to ensure that passengers and visitors have a smooth experience as they come through the airport each time."

Swissport had to make more than 50 of its Jersey employees redundant during the pandemic but are now actively recruiting new roles in the island.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We have significantly increased staff numbers at Ports of Jersey this weekend, and continue to recruit from both Jersey and the UK mainland.

"We are determined to give our dedicated colleagues all the support they need to ensure travellers at Jersey Airport have a smooth journey and are grateful to Ports of Jersey for their continued support."

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