Chaos on the road as Heathrow workers strike for 72 hours |  United Kingdom |  News

Chaos on the road as Heathrow workers strike for 72 hours | United Kingdom | News

Chaos on the road as Heathrow workers strike for 72 hours |  United Kingdom |  News

Hundreds of workers at Heathrow Airport are on strike for three days after the latest pay talks failed, the union said. The strike by ground workers at the UK’s busiest airport will begin in the early hours of Friday, Unite confirmed. It will be followed by another 72-hour strike over the New Year period starting 29 December and ending in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Unite the Union Secretary General Sharon Graham said: “This is a classic case of an employer who can fully afford to pay workers a fair wage increase, but has chosen not to.

“Menzies needs to stop making excuses and make a payment offer that meets our members’ expectations.”

On Thursday, Unite said it had rejected an offer to pay for ground operators at Heathrow, saying what had been put on the table was “miserable”. The pay offer included a 4% raise backdated to May and a 6.5% raise starting in January for more than 400 workers employed by Menzies and working out of Terminals 2, 3 and 4.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “Heathrow passengers need to prepare for further disruption at the airport only because of Menzies’ intransigence.

The additional strike comes at the same time as a wave of union action, which includes railway workers and border forces, raising concerns among travelers about a repeat of the summer’s travel chaos.

The union added: “Strike action is being taken as a last resort because Menzies has only been willing to offer our members a paltry pay rise that in no way reflects the cost of living.”

Miguel Gomez Sjunesson of Menzies Aviation said: “We are extremely disappointed that Unite has turned down the salary increase despite GMB accepting the offer.

“Our offer of a 10.5% pay rise is extremely competitive and reflects feedback from our employees. It is a real shame that following Unite’s rejection of the offer, the strike action will now fall into one of the busiest weekends of the year as people travel to meet family and friends for Christmas.”

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Last month, a similar action took place at London airport, which Unite said caused “significant disruption and delays to flights”. The second strike after Christmas will clash with a planned strike by Border Force personnel, Unite said.

Sjunesson added: “We are well prepared for industrial action and have been working closely with key partners to put robust contingency plans in place. We remain committed to ensuring our employees receive their raise as soon as possible and we hope to be able to settle this matter soon.”

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We are aware of the proposed industrial action by colleagues at Menzies from 16-18 December.

“We encourage airport partners who would be interested to continue with their contingency planning and will support them to minimize the impact on passengers.”

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