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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Long queues were reported at Copenhagen Airport during last week’s extended public holiday weekend and similar issues are likely during two more upcoming holidays.

Copenhagen Airport passengers warned of more queues on holiday weekends

Staff shortages at security checks, caused by a lengthy rehiring process following the Covid-19 crisis, have been blamed for crowds and long queues at Copenhagen Airport during peak times this spring.

Long waiting times at security were reported both Thursday and Sunday at Copenhagen Airport, resulting in a significant number of passengers missing flights, broadcaster DR writes.

The airport’s commercial director Peter Krogsgaard told DR that Copenhagen is not alone in experiencing problems with queues.

“Copenhagen Airport and all airports in Europe have had a lot to do in re-hiring and training many employees after corona,” Krogsgaard said.

“We are therefore seeing that, now passengers are coming back and fortunately want to travel again, we are under a bit of pressure to begin with,” he said.

This means that passengers planning to travel during two more upcoming peak times – the public holidays on Ascension Day (Thursday May 26th) and Pentecost (Monday June 6th) – should brace themselves for lengthy queues at the airport.

Up to 70,000 passengers are expected during the first of the two public holidays, according to Copenhagen Airport.

“We expect to be very busy and are therefore advising all passengers travelling within Europe to arrive two hours before their flight. If you are going to outside of Europe, to the Unites States or Asia, you should come three hours before,” Krogsgaard told DR.

Passengers have few options should they miss flights due to long waits at security, a consumer rights consultant said to DR.

“You are in a very bad situation if you get to the airport too late in relation to the waiting times there actually are at security, because it’s your own responsibility to get to the airport in time to make the flight,” Vagn Jelsøe, senior consultant with the Danish Consumer Council (Forbrugerrådet Tænk), said to DR.

The airport expects to be fully staffed by the beginning of June, DR reports.

“Since January, we’ve done nothing other than hire a lot of new people and they must be trained and educated, and it takes some time for them to get to the security lanes,” Krogsgaard also said.

Airline SAS last week said it would cancel around 4,000 flights over the summer. The decision was made due to staff shortages combined with delayed deliveries of new aeroplanes, SAS said.