Swissport deplores Unions’ decision to maintain strikes and continue to use airline passengers as 'hostages'

CCOO, UGT and USO proved their inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate as they broke talks early today that were aimed at ending the strike that was initiated on 25th June. With the failure of the mediation to seek a new employment framework for the 3,000 Spanish employees of Swissport, the unions have returned to taking airline passengers that rely on our services as 'hostages' for their demands. Swissport, which went to the talks taking steps to facilitate an agreement, condemns this decision and regrets that union representatives insist on putting their own interests before those of the workers they represent.

Early Friday, after several hours of talks at the request of the Labour Inspectorate of the Madrid Regional Government, union representatives rejected the latest offer from Swissport. In the offer, despite the difficult economic climate, Swissport offered a substantial approach to union demands in virtually all the points on which there were differences, including the maintaining of the clauses of the now phased out agreement at Swissport Spain that covers most of the employees.
The company also undertook to revoke all disciplinary actions, including dismissals, taken last week regarding employees who seriously violated the provisions of minimum services decree issued by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Maximalist strategy
By breaking the negotiation and maintaining the strike schedule, union representatives show their commitment to continuing the maximalist strategy adopted from the outset. This strategy, led by one of the three unions, has dragged the representatives of the other two unions, although indicating their willingness to reach an agreement during the talks, to confuse joint union-action with exercising personal judgment.

This attitude can hardly be justified in the defence of workers. By contrast, the repeated inflexibility of the union representatives can only be explained as an attempt to preserve their particular interests over that of the workers they represent. Therefore, Swissport appeals to the good sense of all employees in the confidence that they will demand of their representatives a quick, agreed-on and positive resolution of the conflict that does not further jeopardize the competitiveness of the company in one of the most difficult market environments in recent decades.

Swissport deeply regrets the disruptions caused to their customers in this situation. The company will continue to work to provide the best possible service to its customers and their passengers. Swissport will also continue to seek all legitimate means to end the labour dispute and reach a social agreement that allows for the company’s further development – the creation of jobs and a contribution to the support of a strategic sector for the country's economy.

Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for around 118 million passengers and 3.5 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 40,000 personnel, Swissport is active at 180 stations in 37 countries on five continents, and generates annual consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion. www.swissport.com

For further information please contact:

Swissport International Ltd.
Corporate Communications
Sabine Meinitz
P.O. Box
CH-8058 Zurich-Airport
+41 43 812 49 69

Farner Consulting
Kurt Rossi
Oberdorfstrasse 21
CH-8001 Zurich
+41 44 266 67 67