Swissport to cut more than half its workforce in Jersey

MORE than half of Jersey staff working for airport baggage handlers Swissport have lost their jobs.

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The firm, which provides ground services at airports across the world, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had ‘devastated’ the aviation industry and that the worldwide drop in passengers had forced it to cut jobs.

A total of 54 people out of the company’s 100 staff in Jersey have lost their jobs following 30 compulsory and 24 voluntary redundancies.

Swissport had warned earlier this year that jobs would have to be cut due to the impact of the pandemic.

A spokesperson for the company said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the aviation industry across the United Kingdom. According to the International Air Transport Association, global passenger traffic is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The unfortunate fact is that there simply aren’t enough aircraft flying for our business to continue running as it did before the outbreak and we have had to adapt to this unwelcome reality by reducing the size of our workforce.

‘It is within this context that Swissport has undergone an extensive national consultation with representatives from GMB and Unite, and has agreed a national framework with both unions. This framework would enable Swissport to significantly reduce the number of compulsory redundancies the business has been forced to consider, in light of the pandemic.’

They added: ‘In Jersey, we have agreed arrangements with local GMB representatives in line with the national framework, but unfortunately we have been unable to reach such an agreement with local representatives for Unite. As a result, we regret to confirm that of our direct workforce of 100 colleagues in Jersey, we have now made 30 compulsory redundancies and confirmed 24 voluntary redundancies.

‘Due to the severe ongoing impact of Covid-19 this is regretfully something we must do if we are to continue operating in Jersey and protect as many livelihoods as possible in the long run. This has been a very difficult decision to make, and we understand it will be immeasurably harder for those leaving the company. We are very sorry for the impact on them and will work to support them in finding new opportunities.’

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