Heathrow ground handlers suspend strike after improved pay deal

About 400 employees at the UK airport had been due to walk out on Friday

The workers are seeking a pay rise of 13 per cent for this year alone. Reuters
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A planned strike at London's Heathrow Airport was suspended on Thursday after workers were offered an improved pay offer.

About 400 ground handlers were due to strike on Friday from 4am for 72 hours.

UK's Unite labour union said on Thursday that ground handlers employed by contractor Menzies would suspend a planned strike after the company made an improved pay offer.

Unite, which did not disclose the latest revised pay offer, said it would now ballot its members on the wage revision, but added that it would go ahead with another strike planned from December 29, pending the outcome of the vote.

The workers are seeking a pay rise of 13 per cent for this year alone.

“Unite has been adamant that Menzies was able to offer an improved pay offer and that has proved to be the case," Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said.

“As an act of goodwill, the strike action scheduled to begin tomorrow has been suspended so that members can be balloted on the new offer.”

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Hall had warned passengers to brace themselves for delays.

“Heathrow passengers need to brace themselves for fresh disruption at the airport purely because of Menzies's intransigence,” he said.

“Strike action is being taken as a last resort because Menzies has only been prepared to offer our members a miserable pay increase that in no way reflects the cost of living.”

The planned future strikes could still disrupt one of Europe’s most important aviation hubs during the holiday period.

Updated: December 15, 2022, 4:41 PM