American Airlines Strikes Deal With Unite, Offering 19% Pay Increase

Photo Credit: Kyle Hayes/AviationSource

LONDON – American Airlines has struck a deal with Unite that will see workers based at Heathrow get a pay rise of 19% over the course of three years.

Pay will increase by seven percent this year, backdated to January, followed by a six percent rise in 2023 and the same again in 2024 as well.

This is a major improvement from the previous offer of 5.3% in year one, a one-off payment in year two, and a pay freeze for year three.

Commenting on this deal was Sharon Graham, Unite’s General Secretary:

“By standing together in their union, our members at American Airlines secured a significantly improved deal.

“Unite’s focus is on making sure workers get a fairer slice of the pie by fighting for better jobs, pay, and conditions. As this result shows, it is a strategy that is paying off for our members.” 

Also commenting on the deal was Joe McGowan, Unite’s Regional Officer:

“The engineers at American Airlines have secured a much better pay deal because they were fearless, determined, and united.”

“It is another reminder that workers looking to improve their wages, terms, and conditions should join Unite and organize their colleagues to do the same.” 

With this deal in place, it means that the strike action will not be happening.

Success in Stansted As Well…

Unite has been doing well in the aviation space regarding pay and working conditions. Even today, they have called off the threats of strike action for workers at London Stansted.

Following a previously rejected offer of a 7.5% pay rise and a one-off payment of £250, Unite has been able to secure an 11% increase for the lowest-paid workers and 10% for other grades, including a £250 one-off payment.

Commenting on this particular situation was Graham once again:

“This is an excellent result for Unite’s members at Stansted Airport.  By standing together, they forced the employer to return to the negotiating table and make an improved offer.

“Unite is now entirely focused on promoting the jobs, pay, and conditions of its members, and this ballot result demonstrates that this approach is delivering positive results in the workplace.”

Also commenting was Unite’s regional co-ordinating officer, Mark Robinson:

“We are pleased that our strong mandate for strike action made the company improve its offer, which has now been accepted by the overwhelming majority of our members.”


It remains clear that Unite is using the pressure of disruption during the Winter 2022 season as a major persuading point for airlines, airports, and others.

From there, it has been openly effective, with the workers in those unions benefitting greatly with major pay rises that go above the current inflationary rate.

Looking ahead, it’s going to be interesting to see how much further unite can take things, with their next battle being against Menzies and Dnata in the chase for enhanced pay rises.

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