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Travel industry news

14 Aug 2019

BY James Chapple

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Heathrow workers postpone August strike action

Thousands of Heathrow workers have postponed their planned strike action later this month after the airport tabled a revised pay offer.

Heathrow Terminal 2 check-in
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Heathrow workers postpone August strike action

The action over 23-24 August has been pulled so Unite union members can vote on Heathrow’s new deal offer, which the airport says is worth an extra £2.5 million.


“We’re pleased Unite has postponed the strike action scheduled for 23-24 August to give union members the time to consider our revised offer,” said an airport spokesperson.


“We have put an additional £2.5 million on the table since talks began, with our current offer bringing the total pay rise to 7.8% over two years for all frontline colleagues.


“This is well above RPI [inflation], higher than any other UK airport, and helps to provide long-term wage certainty and job security.


“Heathrow has a duty to ensure the business is sustainable – particularly against the backdrop of increasing economic uncertainty facing the UK in the immediate future. The pay offer we have put on the table achieves that, in addition to being rewarding and fair to all colleagues.”


Unite balloted thousands of members at Heathrow earlier this year on strike action in a dispute with the airport over pay.


Planned strikes over 26-27 July and 5-6 August were suspended to allow talks between the union and the airport to continue under the auspices of government conciliation service Acas.


Unite said Heathrow’s initial 18-month pay offer amounted to a pay increase of a little under 3%, and criticised the airport for allowing pay disparities between workers at the airport doing the same jobs to grow.


The 4,000 Unite members who have voted in favour of strike action at Heathrow include security personnel, firefighters, engineers, passenger service operators, airside operation controllers, airfield transport officers and environmental officers.

 

A Unite union spokesperson said: "The ballot on the revised pay offer made by Heathrow airport to more than 4,000 security, airside operations and passenger services personnel who work across the airport’s five terminals is now under way, closing on Monday 2 September."

They added the proposed strike action has been suspended to allow the ballot to take place.

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