Talks to avert a series of one-day strikes at Newcastle International
Airport have been adjourned after they failed to reach an agreement.
Check-in staff and baggage handlers working for Groundstar, which
provides services at the airport, are considering industrial action over
Talks were held on Friday between the Transport and General Workers'
Union (TGWU), arbitration service Acas, and Groundstar.
But they ended without any agreement and are to be resumed over the
weekend of 1 and 2 September.
Passengers using Newcastle International Airport could face delays if the
first in a series of proposed 24-hour stoppages goes ahead on 8 September.
Melinda Charlton, Acas spokeswoman in Newcastle, is hopeful the parties
will be able to reach an agreement that satisfies them both.
The strike was due to go ahead on 1 September, but was postponed after
discussions between management and union.
After the talks broke down, Joe Keith, regional representative of the
TGWU, said: "There was no progress, but we have agreed to come back to
the table and try to resolve things."
He said the union had already withdrawn its planned action for 1
September in order for talks to be held.
Trevor Went, managing director of Newcastle Airport, said every effort was
being made to resolve the dispute.
He would not comment on the possible disruption caused by industrial
One airline operating out of the airport, Tyneside-based Gill Airways, has
been telling passengers its services to Belfast, Dublin, London, Paris and
the Channel Islands, will operate as normal even if a strike takes place.
The TGWU says 94% of members who work for Groundstar at the airport have
voted for action.
Mr Keith said they were unhappy with their pay compared with staff at
A Groundstar spokesman said: "We are absolutely confident this matter
will be resolved."
Executives at Teesside Airport have been holding talks with
representatives from tour operator Britannia to prepare for any stoppages at
It could mean flights being diverted from Newcastle to Teesside, which is
not affected by the dispute as Groundstar staff are not employed there.