Vanderlande baggage handlers at Heathrow have called six days’ pre-Easter strike action amid an ongoing pay dispute, the Unite union has confirmed.
The walkouts will be held throughout March and April in the lead-up to Easter (12 April) and could, says Unite, affect passenger air travel and freight services.
Unite represents around 80 Vanderlande employees at Heathrow. The firm operates luggage belts at Terminal 3 and passenger baggage transfers from One World Alliance, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates aircraft.
Staff of the Dutch ground handling firm are also responsible for loading and unloading freight from IAG aircraft, including British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia.
Vanderlande’s Unite members at Heathrow voted 88.6% in favour of strike action on a 90.9% turnout following what Unite described as a “breakdown in industrial relations” with the company.
It comes after staff last year rejected a 2.5% pay offer, and a subsequent 3.2% pay offer owing – said Unite – to Vanderlande refusing to accept its recognition agreement with the union applied to new employees, who would therefore not receive the pay increase.
Vanderlande staff at Heathrow will walk out between 3am and 11am on 14 March; from 12.01am on 27 March to 11.59pm on 28 March; from 12.01am on 3 April to 11.59pm on 4 April; and from 12.01am to 11.59pm on 9 April.