Home Travel News Heathrow Airport strike over May Day bank holiday could scupper holiday plans

Heathrow Airport strike over May Day bank holiday could scupper holiday plans

Workers at a refueling firm at Heathrow Airport may walk out for three days beginning on Saturday May 4.

by The Travel Magazine

Disgruntled workers at a refuelling firm at Heathrow Airport plan to down tools for three days over the May Day bank holiday weekend (from Saturday May 4th) – traditionally the busiest travel period of the year.

The 50 or so workers, members of the Unite union working for AFS Aviation, blame ‘drastic cuts’ to employment conditions for new staff. The worry is that this results in a “two-tier workforce”.

Their remit is to refuel aircraft for 35 airlines at Heathrow Airport. The strike will cause havoc for major airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, Air France and Virgin Atlantic, as well as US airlines American Delta and United.

Union Unite warns of ‘severe disruption for passengers’ if the strike goes ahead.

The Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “AFS is behaving appallingly by attacking the T&Cs of new members of staff – those it views as the easiest to intimidate.

“But Unite will not stand for such bully-boy tactics and we will be backing our members in their fight for improved pensions and sick pay for all staff.”

BAA Heathrow, which operates the airport, said it was ‘working on contingencies with AFS to manage any potential disruption’. In a statement, it added: ‘AFS are one of a number of suppliers at the airport and the majority of flights are supported by other providers.

‘Passengers can continue to travel with confidence at Heathrow.’ 

We will update you shortly.

Note: Airlines that would be affected: 

Air Canada, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Japan Airlines, Emirates, QANTAS, ELAL, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines, Air France, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Jet Blue, LOT (POLISH), Royal Air Maroc, Middle East Airlines, SAS, TAP Air Portugal, Malta Airlines, DHL, Aero Mexico, LATAM Airlines, Air India, Logan Air, Bulgarian Airlines, Uzbekistan, China Airlines, Air Mauritius, Turkemistan, Avianca, Asiana, Saudi, Beijing Capital and Rwanda Air.


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