HomeTravelWhere are travel strikes happening in Europe this month?

Where are travel strikes happening in Europe this month?

After strikes caused disruption during the February school holidays, more industrial action is planned by transport workers in the run-up to Easter.

Travellers could face disruption in Spain, France and the UK between now and the busy holiday period.

Where and when are walkouts taking place?

Strikes at 17 Spanish airports

Some of Spain’s busiest airports are facing strikes by unionised workers at ground services and cargo handling company Swissport between now and Easter.

From 27 February to 13 April, they have called for a series of 24-hour walkouts every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Swissport Handling provides services at Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Reus, Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Málaga, Almería, Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos, Logroño, Zaragoza, Huesca, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur airports.

Unions will have to provide minimum services, as is required by Spanish law, so it isn’t yet clear what impact the strikes will have on passengers.

Ongoing pension strikes in France

Unions across France have been in an ongoing battle against plans to increase the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.

The industrial action has previously included railway workers and airport staff with 30 per cent of flights from Paris’s Orly airport cancelled on the last day of strikes.

As this industrial action is ongoing and involves unions across France, it’s worth checking if you could be affected before you travel. 

Heathrow workers vote on Easter strike action

More than 3,000 security guards, engineers and firefighters who work at Heathrow Airport are currently voting on whether to strike over low pay.

If the workers, who are members of the Unite union, vote in favour of the industrial action, it could coincide with the busy Easter holiday period.

“If our members at HAL (Heathrow Airport) take strike action it will inevitably cause severe disruption throughout Heathrow with delays, disruption and cancellations of flights inevitable,” says Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King.

German airport workers strike over pay

German airport workers have been taking part in ongoing strike action over pay and unsociable working hours. On Friday 17 March the Ver.di union has called on ground staff at four airports to walk out for the third time in a month. 

Industrial action will take place at Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe with a total of five cities affected as Cologne and Bonn share an airport. Passengers have been warned to expect cancellations from Friday morning. 

All departures and arrivals have already been cancelled at Stuttgart Airport with travellers advised not to come to the airport and contact their airline directly. 

At Cologne-Bonn, the way shifts are scheduled means that travel chaos could continue beyond Friday with a full service not expected to return until Saturday afternoon. 

Düsseldorf will run a reduced service on Friday with severe disruption expected. Some flights will still go ahead but many are likely to be cancelled. Passengers are being urged to check the status of their flight and keep hand luggage to a minimum in order to speed up queues at security.  

Greek airport workers join a nationwide strike

On 16 March, Greek air traffic controllers and civil aviation workers are set to join a 24-hour strike. It is part of a nationwide walkout over 28 February’s deadly rail crash, which killed 57 people and injured 85 more.

An initial strike was held on 2 March, halting national rail services and the subway in Athens. Participants spoke out against poor working conditions and what they described as a lack of modernisation of the Greek rail system.

Italy airport workers to take part in nationwide strike

On 17 March, baggage handling, security and maintenance staff across Italy’s airports announced that they will take part in strikes. 

The time and impact of this industrial action are likely to vary between airports. Security staff at Milan’s Linate airport, for example, will strike for 24 hours whereas aircraft maintenance workers at Rome’s Fiumicino are only walking out from 1pm to 5pm. 

This means it is worth checking with your travel provider to find out what impact the industrial action is likely to have on your journey.



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