Heathrow Airport ground staff to strike for three days from Friday

About 350 members of Unite union will begin the strike at 4am

A passenger plane prepares to land at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London. Reuters
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Hundreds of ground staff employed by a private contractor at Heathrow Airport will begin a 72-hour strike on Friday.

The 350 members of the Unite union working for Menzies will walk out from 4am.

“Unite’s members at Menzies play a critical role in ensuring that planes operate safely at Heathrow,” said the union's general secretary, Sharon Graham.

“Menzies is a wealthy company and it can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase.

“Unite’s members at Menzies will receive the union’s comprehensive support.”

Unite said Menzies had made pay offers below Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation.

“The strike action will inevitably cause serious delays for passengers at Heathrow but this dispute is entirely of Menzies’s own making,” said Unite regional officer Kevin Hall.

“It has had every opportunity to make our members a fair pay offer, but it has stubbornly refused to do so.”

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“A number of Menzies colleagues will go on strike at Heathrow this weekend,” said a Heathrow representative.

“Affected airlines already have contingency matters in place and flight cancellations are not anticipated. We encourage passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline.”

Strikes scheduled to take place involving workers at Dnata were called off after members accepted an improved offer.

Strikes involving Menzies workers employed in its cargo and trucking sections has been suspended to allow the workers to be balloted on an improved offer, which means passengers going to the World Cup will not be directly affected by the dispute, said Unite.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement on this pay award, which reflects the huge respect we have for our employees in the UK,” said Alex Doisneau, managing director at Dnata UK, Airport Operations — Ground Handling and Cargo.

“The agreed package, including both a pay increase and immediate support for the short term, provides concrete support for our employees amidst the current cost-of-living crisis.

“Dnata is heavily invested in the UK and we look forward to continuing our journey with our employees as we focus our efforts on strengthening our leading position in the market.”

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Updated: November 18, 2022, 11:57 AM