Copenhagen Airport baggage handlers end wildcat strikes

Baggage handlers with the SAS Ground Handling company have returned to work after wildcat strikes which disrupted services from Saturday through to Monday.

Passengers at Copenhagen Airport on February 14th 2022
Passengers at Copenhagen Airport on February 14th 2022. A strike by baggage staff has ended and services at the airport have returned to normal. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The baggage staff resumed work from midnight at the end of Monday.

Danish media including broadcaster DR and news wire Ritzau reported that their employer, SAS, had said they would consider any continuation of the strikes to be a notice of resignation from the workers.

The strike action was in breach of the collective bargaining agreement – the labour contract — betwee

n 3F, the trade union which acts for the baggage handlers, and their employers.

SAS Ground Handling processes baggage for several airlines – not just SAS – in Copenhagen, meaning many passengers were affected by the strikes.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen Airport baggage strikes: Passengers may have right to compensation

The airport is now operating normally, acting head of media relations for Copenhagen Airport Lars Lemche told Ritzau.

But there remains a backlog with luggage that must now be forwarded to passengers who travelled without it because it was not loaded on to aircraft during the strike.

Copenhagen Airport has provided staff to help speed up this process, according to Lemche.

“We are back to normal, we now just need to tidy up,” he said.

Dissatisfaction with wage and working conditions including the number of weekend and evening shifts are reported to be the reason for the SAS ground staff strikes.

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Major Danish ferry route suspended after ramp breaks down

The Molslinjen ferry between Aarhus and Sjællands Odde was suspended on Monday after a ramp on board one of the company’s ferries suffered technical problems.

Major Danish ferry route suspended after ramp breaks down

14 departures on Monday have been cancelled as a result of the issues, a spokesperson said.

Windy weather was given as an additional reason for the cancellations.

“We have simply been hit by two problems at once. One is that we have a ramp which will not raise under its own power and is thereby blocking a loading bearing at Odden [Sjællands Odde, ed.],” Molslinjen head of public relations Jesper Maack told news wire Ritzau.

“The other bearing is so affected by wind today that we cannot use it, so we must take the unusual step of cancelling voyages,” he said.

One of the two ramps used for driving vehicles on to the ferries at the Sjællands Odde port can only be used in calmer weather, Ritzau writes. The ferry operator must therefor wait for the wind to die down.

Monday was not expected to have exceptionally heavy traffic on the ferries but a “few hundred” passengers are likely to see journeys affected, according to Molslinjen.

“It is naturally very regrettable that we have met with such big problems that we can’t even offer (passengers) a departure,” Maack said.

Weather is expected to have eased enough for services between Aarhus and Sjællands Odde to resume by 4pm on Monday, Ritzau writes.

That means the next departure from Aarhus is likely to be at 4:15 pm and from Sjællands Odde at 6pm.

Passengers affected by the situation will be contacted directly by the ferry company.

“They will be able to choose to the alternate route via the Great Belt [Bridge, travel by road or rail, ed.]. Or they can of course move their trip to another day,” Maack said.

Passengers who do not travel will be given a full refund, he said.