Heathrow strike to affect Easter travellers

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 03:50 | By
Qatar Airways flight crew walk with their luggage through the departures hall at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in West London yesterday. Photo/AFP

Security guards at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five are to strike for 10 days from 31 March in a dispute over pay. The Unite union says more than 1,400 of its members employed by Heathrow will walk out in a period which covers the school Easter holidays.

Workers at T5, used by British Airways and those who check cargo entering the airport, will take part in the action, ending on Easter Sunday.

Heathrow says contingency plans will be put in place to keep the airport open.

In a statement, Heathrow said passengers can be assured the airport will be “open and operational despite unnecessary threats of strike action by Unite”.

The company said it had proposed “an inflation-beating 10 per cent increase in pay”.

But Unite says the offer does not make up for years of pay freezes and cuts.

Unite union secretary general Sharon Graham says workers at Heathrow Airport are on “poverty wages” while “the chief executive and senior managers enjoy huge salaries”.

Low wages claim

She said Unite members are “simply unable to make ends meet due to the low wages” and they are striking “due to need not greed”.

“It is the airport’s workers who are fundamental to its success and they deserve a fair pay increase,” the Unite boss said.

It comes as more than 1,000 Passport Office workers announced they would go on strike for five weeks over a dispute about jobs, pay and conditions.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union working across England, Scotland and Wales will walk out from 3 April to 5 May. Meanwhile, those working in Belfast will strike from 7 April to 5 May. The union warned of delays to applications and the delivery of passports.

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