More than half the workforce of Airport ground handling firm Swissport have lost their jobs because of the Covid pandemic.
The company is to lay off 54 of its 100-staff workforce, 30 by compulsory redundancy and 24 voluntarily.
The company handles all ‘ramp’ activity at the Airport – such as loading and unloading bags and pushing back aircraft from the gates – as well as checking in passengers for Easyjet, Blue Islands and most other carriers, except British Airways.
A Swissport spokesperson 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.
Pictured: Swissport look after Easyjet services in Jersey.
“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.”
Ports of Jersey CEO Matt Thomas said: “Swissport is a private business so they have their own relationship with their staff but we still have a duty of care for everyone in the Airport community, so will be working with the company to help where we can.
“The pandemic has obviously decimated the aviation industry and if there is any further risk to ground operations in Jersey, we have plans in place to step in, if needed.”
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