staff at switzerland’s second busiest airport end strike over pay after deal reached with management
Last updated on July 3rd, 2023 at 09:42 am
About a thousand workers at Geneva Airport, which is Switzerland’s second-busiest, launched an industrial action early on Friday morning, disrupting air traffic for around four hours. Dozens of flights got cancelled, eventually affecting thousands of passengers.
The staff was furious over a proposal to freeze wages. But normal traffic started resuming on Saturday after an agreement was reached with the striker’s union to delay the freezing of compensations for at least a year. A joint commission was also established.
First Strike At The Airport Since 1919
Geneva Airport took to Twitter to announce the agreement, adding the management’s proposals were accepted and normal traffic will resume as expected Saturday. It’s the first industrial action at the busy airport since it opened in 1919.
Approximately 18 million passengers used the airport last year. The leader of the Public Services Union earlier tried to justify the strike saying the affected staff felt they had no other option than to proceed with the industrial action.
“We’re having more and more difficulty simply getting wages indexed to the cost of living,” Pierre-Yves Maillard, the president of the Swiss Trade Union, said, highlighting how attacking salary mechanisms when the company is evidently generating a revenue provokes resistance.
Will The 2022 Airport Chaos Repeat Itself?
The strike came at the start of the busy summer travel season. Some 59 flights got cancelled as the social action brought a temporary halt to operations from 6 am to 10 am local time. Nevertheless, the Geneva Airport isn’t the only one in Europe to have faced strikes by staff.
The aviation industry has been keen to avoid a repeat of the chaos seen at airports across Europe in 2022. The sector couldn’t handle a surge in travel as layoffs during the pandemic triggered severe understaffing. Passengers faced delays, huge lines and misplaced luggage.
Staff at Switzerland’s second-busiest airport end strike over pay after deal reached with management