LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – September 4th was the first day in a series of strikes planned by Groundforce personnel. They provide ground-handling services to some twenty airlines at Gran Canaria Airport.
A series of strikes will affect Groundforce, part of the Globalia group, throughout September. Aena reported numerous flights were affected with take-off delays and long waits for passengers to disembark or collect their luggage.
The strike committee pointed out the action affected more than 90% of flights on Saturday. This amounts to 84 flights with about 10,000 passengers. The committee also explained that passengers on 18 flights had to start their journey by leaving their bags behind.
Annoyance that can last all month
This is just a first example of what could happen this month at Gran Canaria airport. The State Coordinator of the Air and Handling Sector (CESHA), the unions CGT and USO and the union of ground handling services STHA declared strikes until September 20. There will be work stoppages every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 12 noon to midnight and on September 19 from 12 noon to midnight.
As of September 19, the 350 employees will be called upon to stop working for an indefinite period.
The reason for the protests
The unions point out they are resorting to this measure to demand an improvement in working conditions. They report violations of the collective labour agreement. They mainly criticise that, despite the airport operating at 60% capacity, more than 90% of employees are still affected by a partial ERTE. This, they say, translates into increased workload, stress and mediation problems.
The unions insist the situation could have been avoided and admit they do not like it, because it damages the image of the company and the island and affects passengers.