London Heathrow is bracing for industrial actions; strikes on 5-6 August and on 23-24 August

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Next to the expected strike of British Airways pilots, passengers travelling through London Heathrow can expect another four days of industrial actions in August.

On Monday 5 August and Tuesday 6 August, union Unite announces a two-day strike involving security guards, firefighters, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers.

Another two-day strike is planned for Friday 23 August and Saturday 24 August. Another group of workers – numbering around 100 Unite members in total includes engineers, airside operation controllers, airfield transport officers and environmental officers – might join the other 4,000 colleagues if talks with Acas – a conciliation body to resolve workplace disputes – fail. Press releases of both London Heathrow and Unite below.

Industrial action at Heathrow Airport

Unite the union plans to take industrial strike action at Heathrow on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 August, and Friday 23 and Saturday 24 August. We’d like to reassure you that the airport will continue to operate on these days as we put contingency plans in place. In the meantime, Heathrow remains committed to finding a solution with Unite to avoid further strike action.

Whilst most flights will operate as scheduled, to ensure your comfort, safety and security during this time, we are working with our airline partners to consolidate and reduce the number of flights operating during the strike period. Unfortunately, this does mean that some passengers will be moved onto different flights by their airlines. This is a difficult time for Heathrow, our airline partners, and above all our passengers, as the proposed strike action has been unreasonably designed to impact passengers taking well-deserved holidays. We apologise for any disruption to your journey, and appreciate your patience during this time.

If you are due to travel on one of the proposed strike days, your airline will be able to confirm the status of your flight – you will find their up to date contact information on our airline contact page. When contacting your airline, their advice may be that there is currently no update or change to your flight status; you should feel reassured that this means your flight is scheduled to depart without changes and we invite you to prepare for your flight as you booked it. However, to make sure you are as up to date as possible on your flight status, we would recommend that you contact your airline both in the days leading up to your flight and before travelling to Heathrow.

More Heathrow workers vote for strike action as Unite confirms overwhelming rejection of revised pay offer

A further two groups of workers at Heathrow Airport have voted to go on strike in an ongoing pay dispute the UK and Ireland’s largest union, Unite announced today (Friday 2 August), as it confirmed members had overwhelmingly rejected a revised pay offer from the airport by 88 per cent.

Unite said it would immediately enter into talks at the conciliation serve Acas this evening (Friday 2 August), warning Heathrow Airport against choosing to pay millions of pounds in compensation to airlines for cancelled flights, instead of taking the sensible option of using that money to settle the dispute.

A two-day strike involving security guards, firefighters, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers is planned to start at 00:01 on Monday 5 August, finishing at 23:59 Tuesday 6 August.

The latest two groups of workers, numbering around 100 Unite members in total includes engineers, airside operation controllers, airfield transport officers and environmental officers. If talks at Acas fail, it raises the possibility of these two groups of workers joining over 4,000 colleagues in a further two-day strike planned for Friday 23 August and Saturday 24 August.

The dispute comes amid deepening anger over pay disparities between workers doing the same job at the airport and the ‘massive’ pay package of Heathrow Airport’s chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye. Last year the Heathrow boss received a 103.2 per cent pay increase with his basic remuneration package rising from £2.097 million in 2017 to £4.2 million in 2018.

It takes Mr Holland-Kaye around two days to earn what some of the lowest paid Heathrow workers earn in a year.

Commenting Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King said: “Heathrow faces a compensation bill in the region of £4.6 million from airlines if the planned strikes go ahead.

“Rather than provoking the disruption that strike action will cause, we would urge Heathrow Airport to use this money for an improved pay offer that better reflects the hard work of the workers who keep the airport running safely and smoothly.

“This latest vote for strike action points to growing anger among the airport’s workers in a whole range of vital jobs which are essential to the smooth and safe running of Heathrow. Airport bosses need to heed this latest strike vote and the overwhelming rejection by our members of the revised pay offer which offers little over and above the original offer of £3.75 extra a day for many workers.

“It is in Heathrow bosses’ power to settle this dispute. We would urge them to work with us to do so and avoid the disruption to passengers that strike action will inevitably bring.

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