Heathrow Airport Security Staff Begin Ten-Day Walkout

Heathrow Airport Security Staff Begin Ten-Day Walkout

DALLAS – Security staff at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) Terminal 5 have started a ten-day strike after pay talks collapsed on Thursday. Around 1,400 Unite union members have walked out and will not return to work until April 9, 2023 – Easter Sunday.

Unite said talks failed ‘because Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) failed to substantially improve its pay offer and was only prepared to offer a lump sum payment as an addition to the current offer.’

Meanwhile, the airport said it had offered a 10% pay increase from January 1 and a one-off payment of over £1000.

The walkout is set to continue until Easter Sunday. Photo: London Heathrow Airport.

“A Wealthy Company”

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Heathrow can afford to pay a decent pay rise to its workers. This is a wealthy company which is about to return to bumper profits. In recent years it’s approved an astronomical rise in salary for its CEO and paid out dividends to shareholders worth billions. Yet somehow Heathrow executives seem to think it’s acceptable to offer what amounts to a real terms pay cut to its security guards and ground staff who are already on poverty pay.

“Unite has a laser-like focus on our member’s jobs, pay and conditions, the workforce at Heathrow Airport will receive the union’s unswerving support in this fight for a decent deal.”

Heathrow said it had implemented contingency plans to ensure minimum disruption to passengers. One thousand additional staff, plus members of the airport’s management team, will be on hand to provide extra assistance and ensure that the security areas are “well-managed.” The airport also urges passengers to check with their airline before travelling to the airport and to arrive no earlier than two hours before short-haul and three hours before long-haul flights.

Photo: London Heathrow Airport.

BA Slashes Schedule

However, on the first day of the strikes, the primary user of the terminal, British Airways (BA), has been forced to cancel 72 flights, affecting around 10,000 passengers. Various routes have been affected, including domestic flights to Aberdeen (ABZ) and Manchester (MAN) to long haul services to New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX).

The UK flag carrier has also been forced to cancel 50 European routes due to another strike by French Air Traffic Control (ATC) workers. The airline said that the “schedule adjustments” were beyond its control.

Featured Image: Pictured in front of LR T5 is BA Airbus A380 (G-XLEC). Photo: Ervin Eslami/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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