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Airport unions usually lack airlines' and ATC organisation

‘Part of the Union’ with its refrain “You don’t get me I’m part of the union”, is a famous 1970's song (by the British band Strawbs).

Penned during a period of intense industrial rest in the UK, it was interpreted as a pro-union song when in fact it was a sarcastic put-down. Such is the level of trade union-led strikes in the airline and air traffic control sectors at the moment that it is surprising that the song has not resurfaced as a contemporary anthem.

But what of the airport sector? How does that compare with the airlines and ATC for industrial unrest?

It appears that a comparative lack of organisation, with many different roles being represented by multiple unions, means that bargaining and, when required, strike action are less coordinated. When different unions do choose to work together though and choose to withdraw labour, the impact on the travelling public can be every bit as problematic as action by pilots, cabin crew and air traffic controllers.

Airport unions are especially dismayed by concession agreements, but they sometimes engage in the most unlikely campaigns.

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