Trade union Unite today warned of “travel chaos” at Heathrow later this month after workers backed industrial action in a dispute over pay.
Unite, the UK’s largest union, says that over 4,000 workers across the airport’s five terminals – including security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and drivers – plan to walk out in a series of strikes.
The staff are set to walk out on 26-27 July, 5-6 August and 23-24 August.
Unite says the move “could potentially shut down the airport.”
Staff are, the union notes, angry over pay disparities between security guards hired at different times, and over a big increase in the remuneration of Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye.
“Bosses at Heathrow airport need to get their heads out of the sand and start negotiating meaningfully over pay,” Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King states, adding that workers are fed up of accepting “crumbs”.
“Otherwise there will be significant disruption to flights to and from Heathrow and the potential closure of the airport over the summer months because of industrial action.”
The workers backed strikes in eight separate ballots after rejecting an 18-month pay offer amounting to a 2.7% increase.
“All our members are seeking is a pay deal that recognises their important role in keeping passengers safe and on the move, in an addition to a commitment by Heathrow bosses to close pay disparities which are leading to a high turnover of staff,” King declares.