Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.52 12 Jul 2019


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Staff at London's Heathrow Airport have voted to go on strike as part of a pay dispute.

The Unite trade union has warned of "summer travel chaos" as over 4,000 workers are set to walk out across six dates.

The striking workers will include security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers.

They are set to strike on Friday July 26th, Saturday July 27th, Monday August 5th, Tuesday August 6th, Friday August 23rd and Saturday August 24th.

The union claims the move "could potentially shut down the airport."

It comes after workers backed strike action in eight separate strike ballots.

It also follows the rejection of an 18-month pay offer amounting to 2.7%.

Unite claims this offer amounts to stg£3.75 (€4.18) extra a day for the lowest paid workers.

"Insult to injury"

There is also anger over pay disparities between workers doing the same job at the airport, and the pay package of Heathrow Airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye.

Unite says last year, Mr Holland-Kaye received a 103.2% pay increase with a basic remuneration package of stg£4.2m (€4.6m).

Unite represents over 4,000 Heathrow Airport workers who are involved in the pay dispute.

Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King said: "There is deepening anger over pay among workers who are essential to the smooth running of Heathrow Airport.

"They are fed up of being expected to accept crumbs while the chief executive pockets an eye popping 103% rise in his pay package and shareholders are handed dividends of over £2bn in the last two years alone.

"To add insult to injury there are widening pay disparities leading to airport security guards employed after 2014 earning up to £6,000 less than colleagues hired before that date."

A Heathrow Airport spokesman said: "We are disappointed that Unite will be taking strike action.

"Following this decision, we will be implementing contingency plans that will ensure the airport remains open and operating safely throughout any coordinated action.

"We will be working alongside our airline partners to minimise disruption caused to passengers as they look towards their well-deserved summer holidays.

"We are proud of our record as a good employer and we remain committed to finding a solution."

Additional reporting: IRN


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Heathrow Airport Heathrow Airport Strike John Holland-Kaye Pay Dispute Strike UNITE Wayne King Workers

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