Updated: Where are airport and transport strikes happening between now and Easter?

Updated: Where are airport and transport strikes happening between now and Easter?

After strikes caused disruption during the February school holidays, more industrial action is planned by transport workers in the run-up to Easter.

Travellers could face disruption in Spain, France and the UK between now and the busy holiday period.

Where and when are walkouts taking place?

Strikes at 17 Spanish airports

Some of Spain’s busiest airports are facing strikes by unionised workers at ground services and cargo handling company Swissport between now and Easter.

From 27 February to 13 April, they have called for a series of 24-hour walkouts every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Swissport Handling provides services at Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Reus, Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Málaga, Almería, Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos, Logroño, Zaragoza, Huesca, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur airports.

Unions will have to provide minimum services, as is required by Spanish law, so it isn’t yet clear what impact the strikes will have on passengers.

Ongoing pension strikes in France

Unions across France have been in an ongoing battle against plans to increase the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.

The industrial action has previously included railway workers and airport staff with 30 per cent of flights from Paris’s Orly airport cancelled on the last day of strikes.

The 15 March will be the eighth day of strikes and protests and will coincide with industrial action by Border Force workers in the UK. 

So far the industrial action has caused Eurostar to have to cancel a handful of services. 

General Confederation of Labour (CGT) unionists participate to a slow-down operation against the pension reform, near Nantes’ airport in Bouguenais, western France.SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP

Heathrow workers vote on Easter strike action

More than 3,000 security guards, engineers and firefighters who work at Heathrow Airport are currently voting on whether to strike over low pay.

If the workers, who are members of the Unite union, vote in favour of the industrial action, it could coincide with the busy Easter holiday period.

“If our members at HAL (Heathrow Airport) take strike action it will inevitably cause severe disruption throughout Heathrow with delays, disruption and cancellations of flights inevitable,” says Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King.

UK Border Force workers continue to strike

Travellers arriving in the UK on 15 March should expect delays at the airport, train station and ferry port passport checks.

This is due to strikes is being organised by the Public and Commercial Services union in the UK. This includes Border Force staff who will be taking part in a day of mass action where 100,000 civil service workers plan to walk out.

Disruption is expected all day on 15 March, lasting until 7am on 16 March.

The UK government says they “advise travellers to check with travel agents, tour operators, and airlines or carriers before travelling, to check if the proposed strike action will affect your journey.

“Passengers can also check airport websites before travelling to stay up to date with the latest information related to travel or possible delays caused by strike action.”

Military personnel, civil servants and volunteers from across government are being trained to support Border Force at airports and ports across the UK. The same personnel stepped in during strikes at Christmas and there were no reported delays as a result.

The government also said that strikes by French unions could make the situation worse. 

“This industrial action may lead to additional disruption to services and queues at French ports not due to Border Force strike action,” the Home Office warned.

German airport workers strike over pay

German airport workers have been taking part in ongoing strike action over pay and unsociable working hours. On Monday 13 March, flights were cancelled in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen with 45,000 passengers affected. 

Unions have rejected offers so far made by employers saying that they are insufficient. The next round of talks is set to take place on 27 March with more strikes likely if negotiations are unsuccessful. 

Italy airport workers to take part in nationwide strike

On 17 March, baggage handling, security and maintenance staff across Italy’s airports announced that they will take part in strikes. 

The time and impact of this industrial action are likely to vary between airports. Security staff at Milan’s Linate airport, for example, will strike for 24 hours whereas aircraft maintenance workers at Rome’s Fiumicino are only walking out from 1pm to 5pm. 

This means it is worth checking with your travel provider to find out what impact the industrial action is likely to have on your journey.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *