London Heathrow Airport strikes are back and this time it is security guards, who have announced a planned ten day strike over Easter.
The unwelcome news comes at quite easily the wrong time of year, as families and many more people look to jet away over the Easter holidays to see family or for a welcome break.
The union “Unite” said that more than 1400 security guards who are employed by Heathrow will strike between the 31st March and 9th April. Therefore it shows people looking to get away before Easter will very likely encounter long wait times and problems along their way.
The strikes will predominately affect those flying out of Terminal 5 as well as cargo arriving into the London airport through the dedicated cargo centre.
The union said that workers have been forced to take this action as they simply are not receiving enough money during the cost of living crisis that has been affecting millions of Britons for months now.
Heathrow reportedly offered a 10% pay increase, however the union turned this down saying that it wasn’t enough.
Heathrow unhappy with the decision
Heathrow has made comment on the situation saying: “Threatening to ruin people’s hard earned holidays with strike action will not improve the deal”.
Despite the strikes, Heathrow has also said that they do have contingency plans in place that will keep the airport open and operational.
Heathrow security guards aren’t the only ones striking. Of course, it is well known at this point they join many more groups of workers including train and bus drivers, civil servants, health care workers and teachers, who have all staged regular mass walkouts in the last few months.
Based off this is seems there is no end to these strikes across the country until deals are made, although is striking really going to turn the tables, because you may think by now an end might be in sight, but it isn’t.
No wage deal yet
With no wage deal in site just yet for these security guards, the potential of them striking again does increase. Therefore, this could very well mean Heathrow may be in with a chance of another turbulent summer season.
Following last years almost destructive summer season thanks to the lack of staff and soaring demand at airports, it seems that even though airports including Heathrow have been on a hiring spree, their efforts may not pay off.
After all, if security guards are striking it could spell a ripple effect to other jobs within the airport environment such as baggage handlers who have also striked in recent months over pay.
Either way unions and Heathrow as well as other airports will need to be on their A game to ensure that if any further strikes do occur, they are ready to deal with the problem in an efficient manner that doesn’t affect airport operations.
Put simply, airports like Heathrow certainly don’t want to go back to the idea of passenger caps and dispersing traffic away because the lack of staff through strikes has reduced the capacity of airports.