Holidaymakers departing from London’s Heathrow Airport are bracing for a summer of travel chaos. More than 2, 000 security officers are planning to strike for 31 days during the peak holiday period starting June 24th.
Unite Union, who blames the long-standing pay dispute, says several airlines face “disruption, delays and cancellations”.
Initially, the walk-out affected British Airways based at Terminal Five. Now officers at Terminal 3 have joined the strike. This affects Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Qatar, United, American and Delta face similar problems.
Families hoping to take their children away during the school summer holidays (21, 22, 23 and 24 July), those wanting to fly for the Eid festival (28, 29 and 30 June) and August bank holiday (24, 25, 26 and 27 August) may find their plans ruined.
Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world and people from all over the UK could be affected.
Strikes are planned for the following dates:
June: 24, 25, 28, 29, 30
July: 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31
August: 4, 5, 6 , 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27
Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary said:
“Unite is putting Heathrow on notice that strike action at the airport will continue until it makes a fair pay offer to its workers. Make no mistake, our members will receive the union’s unflinching support in this dispute.
“[Heathrow] has got its priorities all wrong. This is an incredibly wealthy company, which this summer is anticipating bumper profits and an executive pay bonanza. It’s also expected to pay out huge dividends to shareholders, yet its workers can barely make ends meet and are paid far less than workers at other airports.”
A 10.1% pay offer was offered but rejected on the basis that wages have fallen 24% in real terms since 2017.
Heathrow officials, remain reassuring telling passengers:
“Passengers can rest assured that we will do everything we can to minimise strike disruption so they can enjoy their hard-earned summer holidays. Unite has already tried and failed to disrupt the airport with unnecessary strikes on some of our busiest days and we continue to build our plans to protect journeys during any future action.
“The simple fact remains that the majority of colleagues do not support Unite’s strikes. There is a two-year inflation-beating pay rise ready for colleagues, if only Unite would allow them to have a say. We will continue talks with Unite about resolving this issue.”