Stansted Airport workers begin strike action over rosters

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Media captionBaggage handlers have walked out in a row over pay and conditions

Baggage handlers at Stansted Airport in Essex have begun a 24-hour strike in a dispute over new rosters.

About 100 Swissport staff, who are members of the Unite and GMB unions, walked out at 05:30 BST, but passengers are being told to check in as normal.

Strikes are also planned for four days over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, from Saturday, 2 June.

Trade unions say the new rosters threaten to bring cuts to the baggage handlers' incomes.

Union organiser Gary Pearce said: "GMB negotiators have been in talks to reach an agreement to resolve this issue since the agreed suspension of the strike action scheduled over Easter.

"It is a shame that Swissport has made and then withdrawn a number of proposals including a return to the original four-days-on and two-days-off roster which would have settled the dispute. The proposals were withdrawn last Friday."

A company spokesman said: "Swissport can confirm that, with contingency plans in place, the airport will be open as normal and expects no disruption to their services.

"Passengers are therefore advised to check in as normal with hold baggage, which can be checked in for all flights.

"The action is being taken by the trade unions following the rejection of a revised roster proposal.

"Swissport handles flights for Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson, AtlasJet and BelleAir."

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