Heathrow Airport security guards stage new strike

The Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 Arrivals hall.
Roger Davies, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Security guards at London’s Heathrow Airport are staging a fresh strike on Thursday 25 May, in a dispute over pay and working conditions. The strike, which is expected to last for three days, will cause further disruption to passengers traveling through the airport.

London Heathrow Airport has confirmed that the union Unite has announced that two groups of Heathrow security officers will go on strike on May 25 – 27.

The strike is the latest in a series of industrial actions at Heathrow Airport in recent months. It follows 15 days of strike action by Unite members in the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

In March, check-in staff at British Airways also went on strike for two days, causing widespread disruption to flights.

Latest strike action

The latest strike measure comes after Unite members held 15 days of industrial action which also ran across the Easter holiday break and the Kings coronation.

Responding to the latest three-day strike action, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye reassured airport patrons, saying: “Passengers should not be concerned about strike action by Unite over the half-term getaway.”

“The 15 days of strike action over the Easter peak and coronation weekends have had no impact on the smooth running of the airport, and passengers have not noticed any difference from the normal great service they expect at Heathrow.”

“These strikes are completely unnecessary. When I speak to colleagues the overwhelming message is that they just want to vote on our pay offer, but Unite won’t let them.”

“We made a generous 10% offer early on, to make sure colleagues got a substantial increase when they needed it most. Unite’s delays mean non-union colleagues, as well as the majority of colleagues who are union members, who voted to accept our previous offer are losing out.”

Unite comments

A point of concern according to the Unite union is that Unite said Heathrow security officers are paid less than workers at other major airports in London and the South East.

According to the Evening Standard, Unite’s regional officer Wayne King said: “There is absolutely no justification for security officers at Heathrow being paid far less than comparable officers at other London airports.

“Heathrow regularly trumpets how successful it is as the UK’s premium airport so there is no defence in it paying bargain basement wages.

“Heathrow can clearly meet a cost-of-living increase for our members; they’re deliberately choosing not to, pushing our members deeper into financial difficulties.”

Potential impact of the Strike

As with all industrial actions, the strike does have the potential to cause some disruption to flights at Heathrow Airport. Passengers can reassure themselves by checking their flight status before traveling and allowing plenty of extra time for check-in.

The strike can also potentially have a knock-on effect on other airports in the UK. Passengers traveling through other airports are advised to check their flight status and allow plenty of extra time for check-in.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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