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MAN Security has halved!

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MAN Security has halved!

Old 17th Aug 2003, 23:00
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MAN Security has halved!


Metro News by Helen Tither 15/08/2003

SECURITY guards are leaving Manchester Airport at the rate of around seven a week, according to trade union officials. Wage cuts of around 10,000, on top of an increase in working hours have virtually halved the number of security staff compared to this time last year. one Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) official said. As reported In last week's
Metro News, the dramatic fall in the number of guards has led to lengthy queues around the main departures hall as passengers wait to clear security One high ranking airline official said his company had complained to airport bosses about the situation.
Now, whistleblowers have contacted Metro News claiming the situation is so bad extra staff being drafted in from other airports. One security guard, who did not wish to be identified, said guards from Humberside Airport, which
is owned by Manchester Airport Group, had been sent over to cover a shortfall in staff.
"The airport are desperate for people to do overtime and are phoning everyone up everyone is obviously refusing.
"Ifs just horrendous, every time you go In there are queues. Another four guards have left this week and they
aren't replacing them. They brought six guards In from Humberside Airport.
"They must be paying them more than they are paying us. They have started offering us time and a half until
the end of October but no one is doing It.
"Last Saturday people were in the queue for at least one and half hours but the airport say it is 30 minutes."
One TGWU official confirmed there had been reports of extra staff drafted m from other airports.
He said senior managers at the airport who are on wages several times higher than security guards are being called in to load baggage screening machines because of the lack of staff.
"I have heard that the staff from Humberside Airport were In a couple of days ago.
"I would say the number of staff has definitely halved. Staff are complaining all the time. The main complaint is
long hours and on top of that they are asking them to do over time but they haven't got any days off to do it in.
"Over the last few weekends we have had managers loading and checking bags because we are so short staffed and they are on 70,000 a year. If they had decent wages they could probably get staff."
Meanwhile, TGWU rep Brian Bowan said the union are still in official dispute with the airport over the
changes to pay and conditions in the security department.
"The company were asking our members to do overtime at the weekends and the up take was virtually zilch," he said. "I heard they were going to make approaches to see if they could get security workers from other airports. "Our members are totally and utterly demoralised and they won't cooperate at all. Relations aren't good at the moment. We are still officially in dispute."
When approached by Metro News, Manchester Airport refused to confirm or deny that guards had been brought in from other airport.
David Teale, managing director of Manchester Airport Aviation Services, said in July, almost 93 percent of
passengers went through security in less than four minutes. At peak periods, there are inevitably some queues but we are working with our staff to resolve this." In a comment supplied by the airport, Martyn Davies, Chairman of the Airline Operators Committee (AOC), said: "We are all working together to resolve the security Issues at peak periods and are very happy with the action Manchester Airport 'is taking."
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 02:39
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With a bit of luck they will all resign, and then we can check in 45 mins before departure, as we used to. If I thought that the present security arrangements served any useful purpose I would welcome them. However, I suspect that the whole charade is a ploy by our inept politicians to give the travelling public a sense of well-being.
We already know that terrorists are able to make knives from ceramics and kevlar, which are undetectable. ALPA have demonstrated that they have manufactured a 4 shot .22 pistol from a mobile phone. Why are the security folk harrassing passengers who carry nail clippers?
There is a security risk, but present methods will not prevent an attack. Automatic semtex sniffers would serve a useful purpose, as would racial profiling, if it were allowed. All the present system will do is make air travel so unpleasant that people will stop flying. It will please the BBC, (did you see their recent effort at undermining confidence in air travel to please the so called environmentalists within their ranks?), but be of no comfort to the unemployed ex-aviation people.
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 04:20
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The management at MIA have a mission to improve profits at all costs. This has resulted in a strategy for steadily reducing permanent staff wages.

They were recently trying to recruit a communications officer to (presumably) spin this message positively to staff and unions.

Unfortunately, the wage they were offering for this post was so pathetic that I doubt whether they will recruit anyone who is competent to do so.

Quite ironic, considering that MIA is still efectively run by a Labour council. I wonder if anyone on that council knows what ideals Labour originally stood for? Whether you agree or disagree with the political alignment, it's all very "Animal Farm" in the way it's playing itself out...
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 11:43
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MAplc appears to be very focused on cutting costs, particularly as regards staffing. Well, if "money talks" at least consider this. Having been caught in the massive T1 security queue TWICE in the last two months [and yes, I was one of the passengers left behind by "The Airline With Tiny Scruples" on the day the security hall had been evacuated - thanks alot!] my message to MAplc is simple. When the queue builds, passengers who would otherwise spend in your shops/restaurants panic and join the queue immediately. They then spend NOTHING. Once airside [eventually] they are so stressed that they rush directly to gate, abandoning earlier plans to spend in your shops/restaurants there too. They spend NOTHING. And they don't quickly forget the unpleasant experience either. So MAplc, if you can't sort this out for the welfare of your staff and passengers, do the sums. Then sort it out to keep the tills ringing in your shops. On the evening of Monday August 11th another massive queue built up in T1 - it was about one-third the length of the June 29th monster, so you can tell it was a biggie! And when the passengers finally reached the security points only two of the four X-ray machines were in use. Your shops&bars lost a fortune that night. Probably enough to pay for two full-time security guards for a year.

Well MAplc, having read this you probably think I'm another of those whingers who constantly snipe at Manchester Airport. Well you'd be wrong - I'm a big supporter. I've flown via MAN about 600 times. But that's why I care about seeing the rot stopped, and I want to see evidence that you're trying to sort this out. On June 29th you announced over the PA an apology to T1 passengers apologising for the delay [in security processing] "CAUSED BY THE EVACUATION" of the security hall. But in at least one subsequent letter referring to this occasion you later claimed that you were "not in a position to confirm the reason" for what happened. WHY NOT? Do you not at least credit your customers with sound hearing? They already KNOW what happened, and your action in sending out letters suggesting passengers allow extra check-in time to allow for "heightened security screening" to meet DfT directives can only inflame. For gawdsake, at least be honest with your customers. How long do they have to allow at check-in for a security hall evacuation? And, as on Monday, how long should they allow for two of your machines being switched off? Are DfT directives to blame for these too? Please be honest with your customers, then they will show understanding for your problems. If you write and tell them to check in earlier [what do you suggest? 4 Hours?] they will feel angered and speak widely of your failures.

So MAplc. Number one: be honest with your customers. Number two: employ sufficient staff to operate your machines. Number three: inform the airlines affected when queues build so they at least know there is a problem. Number four: put a stop to the few airlines who comb the queue for their own passengers, escorting them ahead of others with earlier boarding times. Number five: having done the above, sit back and enjoy the plaudits of the passengers who will now be able to enjoy your otherwise excellent facilities and SPEND MONEY in them! Now that can't be so bad can it?

One final anecdote on this subject. On Monday night, passengers for the Hapag-Lloyd Express flight endured about one hour in your security queue. No apology or explanation was received; your two inactive X-ray machines were widely noticed. Passenger comments on the subject were choice and are not printable here. Now, as it happens, that same HLX flight suffered a major technical failure and a spare part had to be flown in from Hanover to rectify the fault. The resulting delay exceeded 4 hours. But HLX were indeed "excellence" in adversity: the Captain himself made an announcement at the gate confirming exactly what was happening. The airline chartered a Citation to bring a spare part from Hanover at considerable expense. Free catering was laid on at MAN by HLX, then further refreshments were served free on board. All this from a "no-frills" carrier. Naturally, the passengers were not happy about a 4 hour delay, but they were reassured, well cared for and kept fully informed. Those passengers were left very impressed with HLX [4 hour delay] and disgusted with MAplc [1 hour security queue delay]. DOESN'T THAT TELL YOU SOMETHING??!!!

Unfortunately, I can't yet extend any praise to "leave 'em behind" BMI Baby [June 29th] 'cos they still haven't even answered their mail yet. How long do you guys need? NOT a good show!
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 15:33
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Shed-on-a-Pole , nice one and very true of 'management' today generally. I too use Manchester as gateway to the UK and have not yet encountered any long queues , thank goodness. I have however followed the management's comments , bragging about efficiency and salary increases , etc. in the press.
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 23:00
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MAN - Industrial Tribunals

On 8th September 2003 an industrial tribunal will begin against MAPlc

Tribunal Hearings

Because of the complex nature and number of claims submitted, the tribunal is expected to run for 15 days between the 8th and 26th September 2003.

The claims fall into several categories.

The Transport & General Workers Union are pursuing:

A Protective Award* for 590 Security Staff employed by Manchester Airport Plc.

15 claims for Unfair dismissal

15 claims for Breach of Contract

13 claims for Unlawful deductions

11 claims for Sex discrimination

3 claims for Trade Union Activities

*Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 outlines the legal duty on an employer to consult. Failure to comply with these requirements can be challanged under a protective award
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 01:05
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Manchester Security

I like the vast majority of us I am sure accept that, a high level of security, sensibly & professionly applied at all times can only make all our lives that much safer. Alas this of course is not the case at most airports worldwide , not only Manchester, where in my opinion the passenger is considered almost an anoying nuisance. I understand and accept the argument from the Security Staff themselves, in that their terms & conditions of employment appear to be very poor.
Surely it is up to the airport management to put the matter right, quite simple I would think,
Recruit professionly trained and confident security staff, pay them a sensible salary & give them decent conditions of employment. Also almost as an aside, do remember every now & then the passenger him or herself, after all we are the ones paying to use the Airport in the first place. My own personal choices of international airports for the best and most efficient security applied with tact and diplomacy, Toronto & Auckland. The worst, any airport in the USA, in particular LAX. I note that the chairman of the Manchester Air Operators committee appears quite happy with the situation at present at his airport, he of course is entitled to his opinion.
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Old 21st Aug 2003, 23:43
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It's true Manchester Airport has to bring in staff from other airports in the group like Humberside. This is due to Manchester Airport security staff refusing to do overtime because of the low wages and long hours already worked. Staff are leaving on a daily basis because of bad management.

The Queue most days on T1 will snake around the departure concourse and make its way up to the Thomas Cook check-in area. Passengers are usually waiting 30 - 11/2hrs to get through security, who at best will have only 2 X-Ray machines working. Staff have been taken off Terminal 2 to cover T1. Management are then sent to T2 to load the x-ray machines. One manager John Donnison (Security Business Manager circa 70,000pa) is to be found loading X-ray machines on a daily basis and losing his temper with his customers, the passengers.

This problem is of the airports own making, when they cut the wages of their security staff by 40-50% (10,000-13,000) to 11,500 - 14,000, increased hours to 42 pw and implemented new rosters (see rosters on www.magalliance.co.uk ) Over 70% of the staff have already left the company and the airport cannot replace them with new staff because no one wants to work for low wages and inferior terms and conditions.

But will heads roll, I think not Teale, Spooner and Donnison will find a scapegoat, they will blame the staff on the shop floor.
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 06:04
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what do you really expect when you have a HR Clerk, Info Desk assistant and an ex-copper running the show? Come on get serious!!
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 18:55
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Why should airlines be stopped from queue combing? After all, if our passengers miss their flight, it is us, the airline, which end up having to pick up the tab and not MAplc whos fault it really is.

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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 19:06
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They should all re-locate to STN!

Walking through a staff check point in Enterprise house last week, one of the security guards sitting on the sofa seats doing nothing at all was telling his colleagues loudly in front of myself and other aircrew walking through how he couldn't believe how much they got paid 'to do ****** all'.

Rough quotes....

At his age how could he even think about leaving when he gets paid this much money?

He couldn't think of another profession he personally would be able to do which would pay him so much... etc

See the very interesting thread running in 'Airlines Airports and Routes'; "Wot's goin' on with officialdom at STN"

Old 24th Aug 2003, 22:19
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I have made similar observations on recent LGW security threads regarding the apparent misuse of the Security Surcharge introduced after Sept. 11th.;

In the industry this was justified by the government in conjunction with airport operators as 'to be used to provide extra security, staff, equipment and training...'

Well as with LGW this is becoming a farce - the airport operators and it appears MAN included are absorbing this 'windfall' as additional revenue and there is little or no apparent use of it being made at the 'sharp end'. If there was we shouldn't be seeing unmanned security x-ray machines, lack of staffing and associated queues at the gates!

Do the sums - Security Surcharge x number of outgoing pax at MAN - it's a lot of money each year!!

'Bout time I think this was pursued/investigated publically and accounted for at government level!!!
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Old 25th Aug 2003, 04:57
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You know iam never sure about the issue of security staff.With all respect to them I wonder if people such as them-simply men and women off the streets like most of us should be in the position of checking people before boarding flights around the world-especially after events of which we are all to aware of.
Seems to me if you dont pay someone enough to do the job they either walk out-which isnt good or dont put enough effort into the job which is even worse as who knows what could get through.
I feel with something such as aviation safety a government body should operate from airports.
I remember a holiday I went on in 1996 to South America.We should have flown direct from Heathrow to Lima in Peru or atleast via Caracas with VIASA.
They were on strike that day so we went with IBERIA via madrid to of all places Bogata in Colombia to catch an onward flight on Aero Peru to Lima Peru.
While passing through Bogata airport I was struck by the security checks we had.
At all times the checks were done by what appeared to be military police or similar bags were checked multiple times via X ray and hand checks (they all laughed at my packs of biscuits) but it just seemed they had the right idea-they were put there to do a job and they did it.
Maybe its time we had this in the UK.

It was an interesting trip as both VIASA and Aero Peru went bankrupt a short time after my return.
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