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Additional Working Hours at Swissport: SEV-GATA Achieves Partial Success and Files Appeal

In July 2019, the ground staff union SEV-GATA, in cooperation with one of its members, was able to file a lawsuit against Swissport Zurich demanding compensation for various additional hours. The Bülach District Court approved some of the claims in December 2023, but notably rejected compensation for the security checks. That is why SEV-GATA is filing an appeal concerning this case.

© Swissport

Particularly, the court had to decide on the payment of the following additional working hours by Swissport Zurich:

• Time spent at the security check when entering the protected area of the airport (airside),

• Travel times from security check to clocking in to actual place of work (luggage transport vehicle stand) and preparation of materials (pickup and commissioning of radio and handheld, recording of the vehicle number in the system, vehicle tests), as well as the travel time from place of work back to landside,

• "Administrative work", i.e. reading e-mails, information and documents as well as online training,

• Time to change into and out of uniforms before and after work.

In December, the Bülach District Court decided that the time required for administrative work must be compensated, as well as the travel times between the clock and the actual place of work and the preparatory tasks mentioned above.
"We cannot help but notice that Swissport currently does not count the entire time between clocking in and clocking out as working hours and excludes necessary preparations," says trade union secretary Philipp Hadorn, president of SEV-GATA.

The court rejected the remaining claims, in particular the recognition of going through the security check as working time. That is why SEV-GATA appealed to the Higher Court of Zurich, because the payment of the security check is important for all employees in the industry. "The district court misjudges how time-consuming the security checks at the airport are for the staff as well," says Philipp Hadorn.
"And it is fundamentally wrong that employees must involuntarily sacrifice their time for this without being compensated for it."

Further Information:

  • Philipp Hadorn, President SEV-GATA and Trade Union Secretary SEV,
    079 600 96 70,
  • Regula Pauli, Trade Union Secretary SEV,
    079 464 37 32,

Who we are:

SEV-GATA (Groundstaff Aviation Technics and Administration), the trade union for ground staff in aviation, advocates for members from a wide variety of companies such as Swiss Int. Air Lines Ltd., Swissport, SBS, Engie, ISS, Vebego etc. SEV-GATA is the aviation department of SEV, the Swiss transport workers' union. With around 40,000 members, SEV is the largest trade union in the field of public transport in Switzerland.