Heathrow ‘chaos’ looms amid Unite pay dispute

Heathrow 'chaos' looms amid Unite pay disputeImage via Shutterstock

The UK’s largest union has threatened passenger “chaos” at Heathrow on Friday due to a walkout by ground handlers in a row over pay.

The 24-hour strike by more than 500 workers represented by the Unite union will hit three terminals at the airport.

The action follows the breakdown of talks with employer ASIG on Monday.

The strike is due to start at 00.01am on Friday involving check-in and baggage handling staff.

Unite said the deal on offer for a delayed 2013 pay award is 5.5% over two years, which the union said was unacceptable, given the “soaring” cost of living.

Unite regional officer Michelle Braveboy said: “The prospect of incipient chaos for thousands of passengers should concentrate the minds of management and get them around the table again to negotiate a fair settlement.

“While the company was awarded the privilege of being the main ground handler at Terminal 2 and has grown since 2013 by winning many new contracts, they have forgotten the staff who have contributed so greatly to that success.

“We are still negotiating on the 2013 pay award which should have been paid in July last year and are now having to negotiate a two-year deal as this year’s anniversary date has already passed.”

Heathrow said: “A small number of staff at ASIG, which provides ground handling services to some airlines at Heathrow Terminals 1,2 and 3, have announced their intention to take strike action.

“ASIG have plans to maintain their service and we will have extra staff available to support passengers with their journey.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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